Gas leak triggers panic buying, long lines in parts of Las Vegas valley amid state of emergency declaration

Gas leak triggers panic buying, long lines in parts of Las Vegas valley amid state of emergency declaration

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Las Vegas residents advised to avoid panic buying to prevent unnecessary shortages

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — There was confusion at the pumps Friday night as some gas stations across the Las Vegas valley saw long lines. However, others were completely empty.

“I heard there’s a rumor about gas some issues and gas lines. So, I’m almost at no gas so I wanted to make sure I fill up the tank,” Albena Lesov, a Las Vegas resident, said as she was waiting in line to fill up.

Lalaine Cubero just moved to Las Vegas and checked out multiple gas stations.

“I was really surprised. The three gas stations I went to, and they were empty,” Cubero said.

The panic started when Clark County officials announced they were aware of a leak, affecting a Kinder Morgan gas pipeline in California. That pipeline feeds gas storage facilities with unleaded and diesel fuel here in southern Nevada. It’s one of two major pipelines that feed our area, the other comes from Utah.

The long lines caused people to panic buy in certain parts of the area like the northwest valley.

“I think it’s all a hype, but I don’t want to be caught off guard,” Craig Waters, a 15-year resident of Las Vegas said.

Clark County said they are monitoring the situation and they believe there is an adequate supply of gasoline. Officials don’t expect an impact on fuel availability.

However, that didn’t stop people from filling up anyway.

“Advice, don’t buy into it like I did,” Waters said. 

The biggest areas hit by long lines were north of Downtown and west of the 215 freeway. The best advice is to travel around to a different area if you see long lines near you.

An investigation into the cause of the leak is underway and officials said any impact should be limited in our area.

On Friday evening, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo and Clark County declared a state of emergency to help mitigate the impact of the leak.

“Tonight, I am declaring a state of emergency for the fuel pipeline leak impacting Southern Nevada. This emergency declaration will allow us to receive federal waivers and resources as we navigate the evolving repair timeline, and it will allow us to increase transportation of fuel by other means during this time. As we continue to monitor this dynamic situation, our office will remain in constant communication with Kinder Morgan, the Nevada Division of Emergency Management, and Clark County officials. Once estimated repair times are finalized, our office will provide an update. To avoid any unnecessary shortages, I strongly urge all Las Vegas residents to avoid panic buying while awaiting repair timeline updates.”

Clark County’s chief communications and strategy officer, Jennifer Cooper, also released a statement.

“In coordination with Governor Lombardo, Clark County has issued an emergency declaration to allow for additional resources for Southern Nevada to help address the impact to fuel transmission in the region. Through this declaration, the County is asking for the state to help lift restrictions on trucking and other delivery methods to bring fuel into Clark County. This leak has not impacted the supply of fuel, but rather the method in which this fuel normally comes into Southern Nevada. Clark County is in regular communication with Kinder Morgan and they are working as quickly as possible to repair the leak. This declaration allows for our region to leave no stone unturned as we seek to continue to provide unleaded and diesel fuel to our residents as well as our emergency response providers.”

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