Gasoline from the Gulf Coast has again begun reaching North Carolina through the Colonial Pipeline, the company said Thursday morning, but Triangle drivers are still finding fuel in short supply.
As of Thursday morning, more than 70% of stations in North Carolina were out of gasoline, according to GasBuddy.com, an app and website that aggregate consumer and station reports on the availability and price of fuel. GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan tweeted that he sees “about 7-14 days of headaches” for North Carolina drivers who need fuel.
“The situation will definitely take time and slowly improve due to a high number of outages and higher number of stations to refuel,” De Haan wrote.
Colonial began the process of restarting its pipeline about 5 p.m. Wednesday, five days after a cyberattack forced the company to shut it down. The ensuing days without pipeline shipments to the state, coupled with panic buying, resulted in many stations running dry.
Colonial said Thursday morning that gasoline was reaching its tank farms in Greensboro and Selma and would be flowing through a branch to Raleigh-Durham International Airport by the end of the day.
“Colonial Pipeline has made substantial progress in safely restarting our pipeline system and can report that product delivery has commenced in a majority of the markets we service,” the company said in a statement at 9 a.m. “By mid-day today, we project that each market we service will be receiving product from our system. “
Gov. Roy Cooper said the restart of the pipeline should give people confidence not to buy gas they don’t need. Cooper said panic buying was largely to blame for the state’s gas shortages this week.
This is a developing story and will be updated