How the rush for fuel is affecting emergency workers

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PENDER & NEW HANOVER COUNTIES (WWAY) — By 9 a.m., police blocked off several roads around Colonial Gas Terminal in Wilmington. Countless gas trucks waited in line to fill up.

The rush on gas has affected civilians around the Cape Fear and beyond, but how has it affected emergency workers? Pender County Manager, Chad McEwen said at this point, it hasn’t.

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“The gas has not in terms of our emergency operations, our Sheriff, Pender County EMS, health department, Department of Social Services… our core functions, they’ve not been impacted,” McEwen stated.

That’s because according to Pender, Brunswick, and New Hanover counties, they keep a supply of gasoline for emergencies. It’s usually to power vehicles and generators during hurricanes.

Due to recent events, Captain James Rowell with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office says they’re discouraging unnecessary idling and trips.

“We’re just encouraging them to be extra vigilant with cutting down any additional travel while they’re working,” Rowell explained. “But with the job that we have, we’re still having to drive.”

“As far as our services, we have limited our street sweeping and grappling truck services,” said Burgaw Town Manger, James Gantt. “Until we can see where this is going to end up.”

Other local government entities are encouraging nonessential workers to conserve gas and work from home.

McEwen continued, “Because of the limitations of supply in the private market, we had a number of employees that were not able to get gas in order to go back and forth to work.”