If you’re hoping to get a full tank of gas in Central Oregon, you might be looking for a while.
“I’ve checked two places so far today,” said Henry Weiss, a customer at the Space Age in Redmond.
At the Space Age, filling up on regular gas is not possible.
“I was trying to get regular, and she said they didn’t have regular, so I got midgrade,” said Jim Brooks, another customer.
The station’s owners told me that they haven’t seen a shortage of gas like this in years.
This lack of fuel is directly caused by the dangerous conditions on the passes, leading to road closures and many freight trucks getting caught in the snow.
Bend gas stations are also feeling the drought.
“When I got here this morning, we only had about 1,200 gallons of premium, and we’re getting down to our nitty-gritty on that,” said Heather Silbaugh, a gas attendant at ARCO in Bend.
Silbaugh told me that amount is far less than their average supply.
The ARCO on Greenwood ran out of gas minutes after I showed up.
“We’re doing what we can,” Silbaugh said.
As customers were turned away from the station, station managers were worried about getting more supply.
“I have no idea at all. It depends on the mountains and when they’re able to get them through,” Silbaugh said.
The situation caught many customers by surprise.
But for many long-time residents, this is just another day on the east side of the mountains.
“I’m a big skier, and one of the things I try to do is not let the tank get below a half a gallon, or half a tank, when we have all of this kind of weather,” said Bo Williams, a customer at ARCO.
“A bunch of years ago, there were lines around the block for gasoline so it was way worse than today,” Brooks said.