GREENSBORO, N.C. — Colonial Pipeline said it has restored operations of two fuel lines in the South that were temporarily shut down because of Hurricane Ida.
According to Colonial, crews worked on Monday to restore service to Lines 1 and 2. The two lines -- which run from Houston to Greensboro -- were proactively shut down as a safety precaution in advance of Hurricane Ida making landfall off the coast of Louisiana.
The lines went into operation before midnight on Monday.
“This quick turnaround was made possible thanks to our employees’ continued dedication to safety and excellence in everything they do,” said Wes Dunbar, vice president of operations for Colonial Pipeline. “We also would not have had the success we are seeing today without the coordination from our local, state and federal partners, and the strong relationships we have built with them up and down the pipeline.”
The shut down of the two lines had many drivers wondering if we’re going to see higher gas prices or even a gas shortage soon.
According to the pipeline, it shut down the fuel lines on Sunday. The company called the temporary move “a precautionary and routine safety measure.”
The company sent Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke a statement, which read “fuel supply continues to be available throughout the Southeast from the numerous terminals located along the supply route.”
Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy said that it’s routine for a gas company to close lines in cases like this. He thinks there may be a bump in prices but not too much.
“This is going to be fairly minor – a few cents a gallon,” he told Stoogenke. “Maybe as much as five or 15 cents. I think in a worst-case scenario, 15 cents. But this is not a Colonial Pipeline outage that’s going to be a long period of time. This is not a Hurricane Harvey. This is not a Hurricane Katrina.”
GasBuddy’s stats on Monday morning:
- North Carolina’s average was $2.87, up a one cent.
- South Carolina’s was $2.82, down a 1.5 cent.
- All the counties in the Charlotte area were lower than their state averages:
- Lincoln and York: $2.76
- Cabarrus and Union:$2.82
- Gaston and Iredell: $2.83
- Mecklenburg: $2.85
Stoogenke asked De Haan about gas shortages.
“If everyone can just react accordingly -- if you need gas, get it. If you don’t, don’t get it -- we will make it through this just fine. But if humans all react by panicking and filling up, then the problem just like April is going to be much worse,” he said.
The 5,500-mile pipeline provides nearly half of the East Coast’s gasoline and diesel. Colonial Pipeline said its other two fuel lines remained operational and will not be impacted by the storm.
This is the same pipeline that was forced to go offline after a ransomware attack in May. That led to panic buying and a gas shortage that stretched across the Southeast.
Jim Miller owns a 1963 Ford Galaxy 500, which consumes a lot of petrol.
“Gas is always going to go up. Guess what? We’re always going to have to just suck it up,” he said. “You have a choice? No. You don’t.”
Motorist Mikki Buff said she usually leaves her muscle car at home to save money normally and especially now.
“I have a little car that runs really good on gas and, then, the Mustang sits,” she said.
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