Sunday morning, Gas Buddy estimated 59 percent of North Carolina’s gas stations were out of fuel. It was a 5% decrease since Saturday night.GAS FINDER: Is there gas near you? Consult our menu
State officials continue to discourage panic buying. They say people rushing to refuel all their vehicles and refill their tanks even though they don’t really need them were a major reason for all gas station breakdowns.
GasBuddy says the data shows that “the epicenter of the restoration efforts appears to be North Carolina right now.”
AAA said North Carolina will start to see more relief in the coming days. The organization said gasoline prices are likely to continue to climb as Memorial Day weekend approaches.
In the name of fuel conservation, four area school districts have made Friday a distance-only learning day.
The Wake County Public School System, Durham Public Schools, Franklin County Schools and Vance County Schools have advised all students that they should not be entering class on Friday, but rather stay home and virtually attend classes.
Where it can be found, the price of gas has increased slightly. The national gas average is over $ 3, but in North Carolina it’s $ 2.93.
The average in Raleigh is currently $ 2.95. Durham’s average price is $ 2.94 and Fayetteville’s average is $ 2.91.
“Now that Colonial has restarted pipeline operations, we will see a gradually increasing return to normal conditions which will take several days,” Governor Roy Cooper said in a press release on Thursday. “There is a supply of fuel available in and around our state, and it will take time for tankers to get that supply to stations that are experiencing shortages.
President Joe Biden, speaking from the White House Thursday, urged Americans, “Don’t panic.” But he admitted that it would be necessary to wait until next week for the situation to return to normal.
“I want to be clear,” he said. “We won’t feel the effects at the pump immediately. It’s not like you flip a switch. This pipeline is 5,500 miles in length. at – now they must return safely and fully to their normal operations. “
It will take “several days” for things to get back to normal, and some areas may experience “intermittent service outages during this start-up period,” the company said.
Why is North Carolina hit so hard?
There is no shortage of gasoline in the United States, according to government officials and energy analysts. However, the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack revealed a critical vulnerability in the way crude oil and refined oil flow through the countries and gas stations.
EXPLANATOR: There is a lot of gas in the US Problem is getting it to NC without the colonial pipeline
Panic buying takes a toll on fuel supply and mental health
Refineries are what transform crude oil into gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, propane, and any number of products. They are spread across the country, but some of the largest are in Houston and New Orleans. That’s where the Colonial Pipeline comes in – carrying that gasoline directly to dozens of giant reservoirs across the southeast. These tanks or terminals then fill smaller trucks with fuel that transport up to 8,000 gallons of fuel to local stations.
All of the terminals in North Carolina are essentially running empty because the pipeline was shut down. However, the main well is not dry. There is a lot of gasoline in the refineries, but the challenge is how to get it to North Carolina.
In the meantime, trucks, trains and even barges carry gasoline. But, at the Port of Wilmington, there is only room for two barges, and there is a significant waiting time for the fuel trucks to fill up. Then there is the extra driving time.
Distribution problems, compounded by panic buying, have depleted supplies to thousands of gas stations in the southeast.
Drivers on Thursday found gas pumps wrapped in plastic bags at gas stations operated in more than a dozen US states.
About 70% of gas stations in North Carolina were still without fuel amid the panic buying and about half of stations in Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia were in operation, GasBuddy.com reported. Washington, DC, was among the hardest-hit places, with 73% of stations out of service, the site’s tracking service showed.
The governors of Virginia and North Carolina have declared a state of emergency to help ensure access to gasoline. Other governors urged people not to hoard supplies.
Cooper reiterated calls for residents not to make unnecessary trips to the pump.
The search for working gas pumps has rattled the nerves of some drivers. Two people have been charged with assault after spat in the face at points in a line at a Marathon station in Knightdale, North Carolina on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
The stop even affected hikers along the Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. They depend on cars and vans to access the trail and get supplies.
“Everyone buys from the same gas pumps, so the lines are long, some are sold out – you really have to look for them,” said Ron Brown, who operates Ron’s Appalachian Trail shuttles.
In Georgia, racetracks and other places of entertainment rely on many fans who come from surrounding states such as Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee, and the problem is that higher gas prices – or shortages – could keep the fans at home.
“Fuel prices affect the number of people who come, especially the long haul,” said Sydney Marshall, general manager of South Georgia Motorsports Park in Adel, Ga., And the Orlando Speed World Dragway in Florida. . “It’s definitely a concern of mine because if there is a gas shortage people will not be able to get here. “
The Associated Press contributed.
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