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Gas sold at 29 Florida stations could be contaminated, officials warn

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Fuel sold at more than two dozen gas stations across Florida’s Gulf Coast could be contaminated and cause damage to engines, officials warned, as the state braces for a possible hurricane.

Authorities have identified “potentially widespread fuel contamination caused by human error,” at the Port of Tampa, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in an alert, warning that fuel purchased from 29 Citgo-supplied gas stations after 10 a.m. Saturday has a high chance of being contaminated.

Floridians have been filling up on gas ahead of an expected hurricane that forecasters say could strike the state on Wednesday. Tropical Storm Idalia was near the coast of Cuba Monday, and could become a hurricane on Tuesday and begin moving north towards Florida’s Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center said.

Gas pumped into a vehicle in Miami
Gas is pumped into a vehicle at a gas station on January 23, 2023, in Miami, Florida. Fuel sold at more than two dozen gas stations across Florida’s Gulf Coast could be contaminated and cause damage to engines, officials warned on Sunday.

The department said Citgo had released a list of all stations affected:

  • Big Dan’s Car Wash: 39522 US Highway 19 N., Tarpon Springs
  • 7-Eleven: 3437 US Highway 19, Holiday
  • 7-Eleven: 13411 Fish Hawk Boulevard, Lithia
  • 7-Eleven: 4325 Lee Boulevard, Lehigh Acres
  • 7-Eleven: 12750 South Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers
  • 7-Eleven: 290 Lakeland Park Road, Lakeland
  • 7-Eleven: 720 Chiquita Boulevard, North Cape Coral
  • 7-Eleven: 2604 Skyline Boulevard, Cape Coral
  • 7-Eleven: 940 S Broad St., Brooksville
  • 7-Eleven: 1626 Meadow Road, Lehigh Acres
  • 7-Eleven: 2401 James Redman Parkway, Plant City
  • 7-Eleven: 601 Pine Island Rd. S.W., Cape Coral
  • 7-Eleven: 6050 Dean Dairy Road, Zephyrhills
  • 7-Eleven: 714 Burnt Store Road, Cape Coral
  • BJ’s Wholesale: 1929 Pine Island Road N.E., Cape Coral
  • BJ’s Wholesale: 9372 Ben C Pratt Six Mile Cypress Pkwy., Fort Myers
  • BJ’s Wholesale: 13585 NE 86th Path, Lady Lakes
  • Handy Foods Store #86: 21321 Palm Beach Blvd., Alva
  • Handy Foods Store #87: 3205 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres
  • Superday CITGO: 1595 South McCall Road, Port Charlotte
  • Bolton One LLC: 15434 US Highway 19, Hudson
  • JHW #310 – DBA Avenue CITGO: 11867 N. Williams St., Dunellon
  • AL Prime – Daytona Beach: 1898 S. Clyde Morris Blvd., Daytona Beach
  • Quick & Easy Stop: 4529 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota
  • Palmers Easy Stop: 903 Cattleman Rd., Sarasota
  • Faulkenburg CITGO: 5320 Faulkenburg Road, Tampa
  • Choice Food & Gas: 310 N Central Ave., Umatilla
  • 2K Express 5: 6202 N 40th St., Tampa
  • Perfection Station 5: 9931 N Florida Ave., Tampa

Newsweek has contacted Citgo for comment via email.

Gov. Ron DeSantis urged residents on Monday to be “executing your plans” and prepare for a dangerous Category 3 Hurricane Idalia. The governor also expanded his state of emergency declaration to 46 counties, up from 33 on Saturday.

“This is going to be a major hurricane,” DeSantis said Monday morning, warning residents to listen to evacuation orders and directives issued by local authorities.

“Floridians, you need to be executing your plans now. Late Tuesday, early Wednesday, it’s going to start to get really nasty,” he added.

The state alert warned that “contaminated gasoline and diesel have the potential of causing engine damage or affecting operability,” noting that impacted stations have been asked to stop selling gas until the contaminated fuel is replaced and tanks are cleaned.

“If you purchased gas from affected stations after 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 26, the Florida Department of Agriculture of Consumer services advises consumers that vehicles or generators may not properly function,” the department said.

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