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Gas Stations Inspected for Generators

June 6th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

Initial reports are that many of the more than 1000 gas stations along evacuation routes which were supposed to be generator ready on June first are not. Inspectors are visiting the stations this week, issuing notices of non compliance where appropriate. Mike Vasilinda went along with inspectors and tells us some stations are just ignoring the law.

Leonard Wood and Roberta Johnson’s job is to make sure gas stations along hurricane evacuation routes are generator ready. We weren’t allowed to take pictures at this Fast Track station, but the station was sited for non-compliance after the clerk told the inspector Johnson she didn’t know anything. “Tried to get a hold of the owner and we couldn’t get an answer so we gave them a non-compliance because nobody could give us any information.” Johnson told us. Johnson was also told nothing happens when the power goes off.

The clerk in this store was able to get a hold of the corporate owners to deny us permission to shoot inside, but when the state wanted to talk to those same owners about generators, they weren’t available.

Across the street, it was a completely different story. Owner Jerry Grubbs took the new law seriously. “What did that cost you?” we asked. “20 thousand dollars.”
“What do you think of that investment?” “It’s a very poor investment. I’ve been out of electricity two hours in 40 years.” says Grubbs.

Jerry’s 30 KW generator exceeds what the law requires says Inspector Leonard Wood
“They don’t have to have a generator on site. If they don’t have it on site, they have to have a physical address where I can find it. It has to be within 250 miles. They have to be able to get it here within 24 hours.”

The generators do guarantee the pumps will operate…but there is no way to make sure every station with a generator will have gas in the ground to pump.

Stations given a notice of non compliance have ten days to prove they are following the law. Failure to comply is a criminal violation.

Posted in Business, Hurricane Season, State News, Weather | 3 Comments »

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