Drivers risk empty fuel tanks along Gulf Coast after Laura

Forced shutdowns of truck stops across Texas and Louisiana due to Hurricane Laura-caused power outages and mandatory evacuations have increased the risk of truck drivers left stranded without fuel.

Major truck stop chains Pilot Flying J, Love’s Travel Stops and TravelCenters of America all reported locations that were closed and without power for both food and fuel as of 11 a.m. CDT Thursday. Roady’s Truck Stops, a large independent chain, was checking on the status for a handful of locations in the area, a company source told FreightWaves Thursday morning.

Pilot Flying J reported two stores in Texas and three stores in Louisiana that were closed and without power Thursday. “We are currently assessing the locations and surrounding areas to determine when the stores will be able to reopen,” a spokesperson told FreightWaves.

With one location closed in Texas and four closed in Louisiana, Love’s said it will be using generators to restore power.

“Power outages impact the store and fuel capabilities. Generators are being set up at locations without power and will be operational as soon as it’s safe to do so,” a Love’s spokesperson told FreightWaves Thursday morning.

Both power losses and emergency evacuation orders forced four TravelCenters of America locations to close, according to a recent update.

Approximately 400,000 people were without power after Laura swept through the Texas-Louisiana border region, making landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, around 2 a.m. CDT Thursday. By 5 a.m., the storm — the strongest in more than a century — had weakened to a Category 3 but was still producing powerful winds of 120 mph.

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