Area residents fear gas stations won’t reopen in time for urgent medical appointments

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)—The gas shortage can impact more than just your commute to work and school, it can also affect residents getting to important doctor’s appointments or vaccination appointments.

Several area gas stations reported outages of certain types of fuel this week following the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

The pipeline was restored Wednesday, but AAA spokesperson Martha Meade said it can take 15-18 days for the gas to flow normally from Texas up to New York again.

The scarce gas and higher prices worried Polly Hutchinson, a Glen Allen resident, who travels to doctor appointments frequently. She survived a stroke and gets frequent rehabilitation treatments.

“I need to go to these appointments for my rehabilitation. I can’t just skip them. It impacts me physically,” said Hutchinson.

She’s worried that the fuel outages won’t resolve in time for her to fill up her car again.

“I don’t want to postpone this appointment, but if I have to I will,” she said.

Meanwhile, vaccination sites in Richmond and Henrico County are still seeing a high interest this week.

“I think the current gas shortage is an unexpected example of why it’s so important that there are lots of covid-19 vaccination sites in every single neighborhood,” said Cat Long, spokesperson for the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts.

She said people can conserve gas by walking to vaccination sites or taking public transportation.

“We are hopeful that with the array of appointments that are available at different sites, folks don’t have to use that precious gas,” Long said.

Patients can call the health districts’ call center to find a way to still receive their shot or schedule a homebound vaccination.

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