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Impact of Colonial Pipeline cyberattack on local gas supply

Published: May. 12, 2021 at 10:11 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - By Tuesday night, the Liberty gas station on Veterans Pkwy is one of several gas stations that can be seen with bags over the nozzles at the pumps. One driver tells NL9 she went to 8 different gas stations between Airport Thruway and Williams Rd. Tues. afternoon that were all out of regular gas.

Because of the Colonial Pipeline being shutdown, experts say we’re starting to see some temporary outages at various gas stations throughout the southeast. This is leading to crowds at the gas pumps throughout the Chattahoochee Valley.

“It’s like trying to wrangle cats. Trying to control this crowd. Well, I need gas, but I figured I’d outwait. I go in the store and do what I got to do and come back and see if it’s any worse,” said David Culpepper at the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Highway 80 in Phenix City.

“We were passing by here and we’re seeing it for $2 and 53 so I said we better go ahead and fill up. It is what it is,” said Ira Doughty at the Liberty gas station in Columbus.

AAA spokesperson Garrett Townsend says just overnigh, there’s been about an 11 cent increase in gas prices in the Peach state. In situations like this, Townsend says they always urge drivers not to “panic buy.”

“Try to stay in as close to the normal pattern as possible of purchasing your gasoline. Try not to top off your tank just because you think there may not be any available over the next few days. Panic buying really can wreak havoc on a situation like this,” Townsend explained.

Townsend says hopefully we’re close to the end of what he calls a difficult past few days.

“The longer that this crisis goes on, the more impact that it’ll have. Of course we’re less than a week into this so far and they’re talking about possibly making an announcement about a restart. Hopefully that will have that gasoline flowing back into the stations over the next few days,” he said.

While we’re going through temporary outages at the gas pump, Townsend says you’ll want to save as much gas as you can by increasing your miles per gallon. He suggests consolidating all of your errands by doing all of them at once and lightening the load by getting extra items out of your car.

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