Don't Panic: TxDOT Says San Antonians Shouldn't Rush to Gas Pumps Ahead of Tropical Storm Barry

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If you were driving in San Antonio Thursday and saw signs advising you to fill up your gas tank, please know that the message wasn’t for you.

We’re serious. Do. Not. Cause. Long-ass. Lines. At. The. Gas. Pumps.

Here’s the sitch: the Texas Department of Transportation, better known as TxDOT, posted the message “Storm forming in the gulf, be prepared, fill your gas tanks” on electronic signs throughout the Lone Star State.

Though the department intended to prepare Texans for Tropical Storm Barry, it ran the risk of putting drivers into panic like the one in 2017 ahead of Hurricane Harvey. You remember, right? Ridiculously long lines at gas stations? Some stores completely out of gas?

There’s no need to repeat history here. After KENS 5 reached out to TxDOT and pointed out that the warning may cause a collective freak-out like during Hurricane Harvey, the department has removed the message from most signs in San Antonio. It turns out the message was really only intended for drivers heading east on I-10 toward Houston and Louisiana.

“It’s a heavily traveled area,” San Antonio’s TxDOT spokesperson Laura Lopez told the station. “Those drivers who are traveling to the Houston area or the Louisiana area, we want to make sure they have that message, that they’re prepared.

As of Thursday afternoon, the message was still appearing at the Pine Drive exit on I-10, one of the last signs in San Antonio when heading toward Houston.

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