Thu, Sep 01, 2005
Hurricane Katrina Leaves Eastern Seaboard Short On Fuel
Hurricane Katrina's wrath spread to airports along the East
Coast Thursday as airlines worried about the latest fallout from
the storm: a pending fuel shortage that could ground flights from
Tampa to Charlotte.
The hurricane knocked out refineries and cut power to vital
pipelines that supply several airports with aviation fuel. Most
affected, according to published reports, are airports in
Charlotte, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta and Washington, DC.
Most of those airports report having enough fuel in tank farms to
last a week or two at most.
"By then, we'd better have this problem rectified or we'll have
a serious problem," ATA chief economist John Heimlich told USA
As supplies tighten, the price of
fuel is rising. Prices are up 20-percent from the beginning of the
week, deepening the woe of airlines like Delta, United and US
Airways which are already in hot financial water.
In cases where pipeline service has been disrupted, aviation
fuel isn't the only commodity in suddenly short supply. As lines
stretch for blocks from gas pumps where drivers can still tank up,
pressure is mounting to dedicate more of the flow in those
pipelines to gasoline and diesel and less to aviation
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