CHARLOTTE — The operator of the nation’s largest gasoline pipeline that was hit with a ransomware cyberattack has resumed normal operations and is now delivering millions of gallons of fuel per hour.
The Colonial Pipeline had begun the process of restarting the pipeline’s operations last week but the company warned it could take several days for the supply chain to return to normal.
Government officials have acted swiftly to waive safety and environmental rules to speed the delivery of fuel by truck, ship or rail to motorists and airports, even as they sought to assure the public that there was no cause for alarm.
Channel 9 has reported that many stations in the Carolinas have been seeing gas shortages for days and people were “panic-buying” in search of supply. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper had issued a state of emergency, lifting some restrictions to ensure adequate fuel supplies are delivered across the state.
On Tuesday, GasBuddy, which tracks prices and supply, reported at least 44% of gas stations across North Carolina were still out of gas. According to GasBuddy, outages are slowing starting to improve across the Southeast and will ramp up this week.
>> Channel 9 is dedicated to helping those who NEED gasoline find a gas station that has adequate supply. Scroll below to use the Gas Buddy Gasoline Availability Tracker to find out where the shortages are where you live. Just search for your zip code, and it will list which stations have fuel. If you’re on our app, click here.
(GasBuddy’s gasoline tracker is crowd-sourced in real time, so it changes based on what’s available. You can search by ZIP code, city, or just look at the map. Yellow means there’s limited fuel options and red means there’s no fuel at the station. Green means the station has gas.)
The Colonial Pipeline, the biggest fuel pipeline in the U.S., delivering about 45% of what is consumed on the East Coast, was hit with a cyberattack by hackers who lock up computer systems and demand a ransom to release them.
Colonial Pipeline announced last Wednesday evening that it was resuming operations. The company, which operates the nation’s largest gasoline pipeline, said it was resuming deliveries and expects its operation to return to normal in a few days.
Motorists may still feel a crunch because it takes a few days to ramp up operations, but she said there is no reason to hoard gasoline.
Last week, major metropolitan areas were hit hardest by the shortages, with more than 70% of the stations in North Carolina out of gasoline in Charlotte, Raleigh and Greenville, as well as roughly 60% of those in Norfolk and Atlanta, according to Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s top oil analyst.
“We know that we have gasoline; we just have to get it to the right places,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said.
S&P’s Oil Price Information Service put the number of gas stations encountering shortages at more than 1,000.
(WATCH: ‘Panic-buying’ leaving gas stations dry amid Colonial Pipeline shutdown)
Cox Media Group