What a state of emergency means for North Carolinians

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency for North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Irma.

CBS North Carolina is digging deeper to find out what that really means for you.

We found out it could have a big impact at the gas pump.

The state of emergency is basically lifting some regulations to make sure people have enough gas in the coming weeks.

CBS North Carolina’s Carleigh Griffeth caught up with Terrell Jackson as he was starting his day in north Raleigh.

The Waccamaw Transport driver delivers fuel to gas stations across the Carolinas.

He says recently he’s had to make more stops and it’s taking him longer to fill up his tanker.

“Usually I go to a terminal and be out in about 15 minutes, but I had to stay at the terminal for two hours because it was backed up so everybody trying to get gas,” said Jackson.

Cooper’s declaration of a state of emergency suspends some regulations on trucks like Jackson’s so he can make sure there’s gas in the pump when you go to fill up.

“You don’t really have to worry because we’re going to keep gas in the tank. So there’s no need to rush and try to get gas, because it’s going to be gas,” said Jackson.

But, that hasn’t stopped drivers from flocking to refuel.

“Day one after the refinery closed it was like, it was pretty chaotic here,” said Amin Huisbe, the manager of a downtown Raleigh gas station.

Huisbe says their prices have climbed since Hurricane Harvey, and drivers have noticed.

“About two or three weeks ago the price was like $2.03 per gallon for regular gas and now it’s at like $2.60 so in the last few weeks it’s just shot up,” said driver Walker Rice.

Huisbe says last week the lines from their parking lot were spilling into traffic. Even with the state of emergency and pleas for people not to abuse the fuel, he expects to see the rush once more.

“The storm, if it ever does get nearby, I think it’s going to get hectic again,” said Huisbe.

This state of emergency also relaxes regulations on trucks carrying things like food, medicine, and equipment to repair power outages. It’s just another way this state is preparing for what hurricane Irma could bring our way.

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