You may have noticed a few weeks ago there were media reports of long lines at gas stations and people scrambling to fill up their tanks in the southeastern United States. A number of states experienced a massive surge in demand of gasoline due to an attack on a major fuel supply line, the Colonial Pipeline. As a result, some states continue to suffer from gas shortages and anxiety over not knowing when it will be resolved. This article will discuss eight states affected by the gas shortage, why it has persisted and what the public should do to stay safe during this time.
What is the Colonial Pipeline?
The Colonial Pipeline is a 5,500-mile network of fuel pipelines that runs from Houston, Texas to New York and serves nearly 50 million people in the U.S. East Coast. It is responsible for transporting 45% of gas and other petroleum products such as jet fuel and diesel from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast. On May 7th, 2021, the pipeline was the target of an unprecedented cyberattack by a criminal organization called DarkSide. The attack resulted in the stoppage of operations, forcing the company to shut down their systems and seek alternative fuel sources.
What are the Affected States?
Eight states have been affected the most by the crisis, leading to severe gas shortages due to their closeness to the Colonial pipeline. The states are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Impact of Shortage in Alabama
Alabama has been heavily impacted by the gas shortage and Gov. Kay Ivey has declared a state of emergency as a result. Many gas stations are especially in areas around Birmingham and Montgomery are often either out of gas or have unusually long lines. Officials are monitoring the situation and trying to ensure the rest of the pipeline network is functioning normally.
Impact of Shortage in Florida
Florida has also been facing an acute shortage of fuel due to its dependency on the Colonial Pipeline. Panhandle cities such as Pensacola and Tallahassee have experienced longer lines and diminished supplies due to the pipeline’s stoppage. However, the recent re-opening of the pipeline’s operation should help situation in Florida stabilize in the coming weeks.
Impact of Shortage in Georgia
Georgia has been hit hard by the gas shortage and many stations have been out of fuel or have been limited in what people can buy due to the limited supply. Additionally, the Governor has imposed a state of emergency. State officials are working to ensure a steady supply of fuel, although many gas stations continue to remain closed.
Impact of Shortage in Maryland
In Maryland, the impact of the gas shortage has reduced supplies in the northwest and western parts of the state. Prices have also been steadily rising, as it becomes harder to find available gasoline in the state. Governor Larry Hogan has urged Marylanders to only buy what they need in order to ensure more people can get gas on pump.
Impact of Shortage in North Carolina
North Carolina is facing major supply shortages as many gas stations along interstate 95 have either closed or have limited supplies. Additionally, the state has seen an increase in prices, with some areas now charging as much as $5 per gallon. Governor Roy Cooper has expressed concern over the situation, and is hoping the Colonial Pipeline will be able to deliver fuel soon.
Impact of Shortage in South Carolina
The state of South Carolina has seen severe supply disruptions due to the Colonial Pipeline shut down. Gas stations have been closing and prices have been getting higher as supplies run low. Additionally, some people have reported waiting in line for hours in hopes of getting a few gallons of gas.
Impact of Shortage in Tennessee
The state of Tennessee has also been affected by the gas shortage, with reports of gas stations closing in the western part of the state. Prices have also been rising, and supplies have been running low due to the limited access to fuel from the Colonial Pipeline. The Governor of Tennessee has declared a state of emergency in order to direct resources towards fuel delivery and distribution.
Impact of Shortage in Virginia
Virginia has also experienced a shortage of fuel, especially in the western part of the state. Prices have been rising and several gas stations have had to close due to lack of supplies. The Governor has declared a state of emergency and is urging citizens to only purchase what they need in order to ensure moregas is available over the coming weeks.
What Should You Do if Your State is Experiencing Gas Shortage?
If you live in any of the states mentioned above and are experiencing gas shortage, here are few tips on what to do during this time:
• First, do not panic – panic buying only worsens the issue.
• Check online for gas station openings and closing – there are several websites and apps that can help you locate gas stations that still have fuel.
• Be aware of possible price gouging – keep an eye out for any dubious or abnormal pricing.
• Refuel when you can – do not wait for your tank to run empty before refueling.
• Stock up on essentials – having some basic essentials such as food, supplies, and medications stocked up can be helpful in case of emergencies.
Due to a major cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline, several states in the southeastern United States have been facing acute supply shortages of gasoline. Eight states that have been particularly affected are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Prices have gone up and supplies have become limited due to the disruption in the supply network. State officials have issued declarations of emergency and urged citizens to only buy what they need. The situation may remain grim in the coming weeks, so it is important to take precautions and stock up on essentials to stay safe during this time.