Those who have remained are surviving the smothering heat. If they are very lucky, they have some gas in their tanks. Gas for cars and trucks is woefully lacking. Drivers face very long lines taking hours to get to the pump. Some gas stations have become danger zones. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto has coined pump misbehaving, as "gas holes". So, why would a state, almost literally drowning in oil, gas and refineries be so lacking at the gas pump?
Ironically, it's the abundance that's the rub and the cause for the road paralysis.
Here's how Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Cheng explained it to the public during a Thursday evening press event:
"And as I said yesterday, this was our message to senator senator Kennedy, Congressman Scalise and the governor Edwards about the need for fuel. I was able to have a great conversation with Mr. Tom Harris, who's the secretary The Department of Natural Resources. So I want people to understand that it's not necessarily the issue at your local gas station, people think they don't have generators, or they don't have employees to come to work. That's why the gas stations closed. Many do have generators, many do have employees. The issue is that for this hurricane, and I liken it to us taking a double whammy with this hurricane, if this hurricane had hit in Florida, or maybe Texas, they in the roads were passable, the fuel would not be so much an issue because they would be using our fuel from our refineries. Unfortunately, our refineries got hit. So not only are we dealing with the normal issues of a storm, but we also have a fuel issue on top of it because we produce the fuel. So for this hurricane, it hit eight of our refineries, which represent two thirds of the Louisiana refining capacity. Those eight refineries that were hit and are down also represent 13% of the country's refining capacities. So the issue there is that refineries don't have electricity either. refineries also need nitrogen to produce, and the nitrogen plant did not have electricity as well. So gas trucks that come and supply our gas stations with with the replenishment of fuel or having to wait in line just like cars, or having to wait in line for the gas station while the gas trucks are having to wait in line at the racks. And where my understanding is many of the racks, they would pick up gas and Kenner, they're having to go to Baton Rouge and their wait time is longer. And so this is the issue with gas. So it's a much bigger issue. It's at the source refineries, you just can't turn a switch on. It takes them several days to get to full capacity once they are able to get the nitrogen, which is reliant on the electricity and once they can get electricity. So
that is the issue. And I have been assured that much higher level of government are working on this issue. We're trying to get inventory from other states and other other supply chains. The message to residents who are still out of town is that this community is not ready to have you back. Unfortunately, we still don't have electricity, we have gas issues. Obviously the water and sewer we're making improvements on but without without electricity and gas. It's very, very difficult to put our community back together and we are making strides every day. But as more things come back online, this will change but as of now and as of today, we're still encouraging residents to stay put and many people here would like to leave. But of course gas is the issue."