Ascension Parish officials make public plea amid potential gas crisis

Leaders in Ascension Parish are making a public plea for help with getting more fuel into the parish.
Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 2:29 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT
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ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Leaders in Ascension Parish are making a public plea for help with getting more fuel into the parish.

The plea comes amid long lines across the parish and state, following the effects of Hurricane Ida. Drivers we spoke to told us it’s been a tiring and frustrating experience trying to track down places that have fuel.

“It was pretty hard. It was two hours and 45 minutes just to get to a gas station,” Peter Saucier said. “There’s people trying to jump in line. One lady wouldn’t wait and we almost had to call the cops because she wouldn’t want to wait and everyone else had to wait two hours and 45 minutes to get gas.”

Sheriff Bobby Webre fears they’re staring in the face of a gasoline crisis if they don’t get a new shipment in quickly.

“Today, I’m usually a very optimistic sheriff. Today is the first time I sense some frustration because there are some answers that we can’t get,” Webre said.

Webre said the two refineries they depend on are not pumping fuel to their distributors.

The problem he said is they don’t know why, and nobody has communicated to them what the contingency plan is.

“I do not want to alarm the public. If we have to drive to Houston to get fuel, we’re going to get fuel and our 911 center will stay up and running, and our police units will have fuel for that., but we can’t seem to get it from our local refineries, and I don’t know why, and we can’t get answers why,” Webre said.

Rep. Tony Bacala said they can’t afford to keep going at this rate, or they could be in a world of trouble.

“I don’t know what the problem is. I hope we find out what the problem is and fix it. We cannot continue to go down and down, or we’ll face a second crisis that’ll be worse than the hurricane itself,” Bacala said.

Sheriff Webre said he understands that we’re not even 48 hours removed from the storm, but he felt they needed to speak out now, and not wait until things get worse.

“They do probably have some tremendous challenges, and that’s ok. Just let us know what those challenges are and tell us what your contingency plans are and how we can help avoid the situation, or what contingencies we can make to help us get fuel to Ascension Parish,” Webre said.

Ascension Parish will remain under a dusk-to-dawn curfew Tuesday night, for the third night in a row.

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