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Colonial Pipeline Issue Causing Panic in the Southeast Gas Stations

As the Colonial Pipeline shutdown entered its sixth day on Wednesday, gas stations across the Southeast experienced major outages, causing panic-buying that has worsened the supply shortage. According to GasBuddy, an app that monitors fuel demand, costs, and outages, 68 percent of all gas stations in North Carolina, 45 percent in Georgia, 49 percent in Virginia, and 45 percent in South Carolina were without gasoline as of 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.

That’s a significant increase from early Wednesday morning. There were also outages recorded in Tennessee (18%), Florida (14%), Maryland (13%), and Washington DC (12%). In certain big metro areas, the supply shortage tends to be much worse. Outages were registered at 71 percent of stations in metro Charlotte, nearly 60 percent in Atlanta, 72 percent in Raleigh, and 73 percent in Pensacola, according to GasBuddy.

However, there will be a reprieve: Colonial Pipeline announced Wednesday evening that it has begun resuming operations, though operators cautioned that service will take several days to return to normal. The company said, “Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period.”

Following the ransomware assault on the Colonial Pipeline, experts, energy executives, and government officials urged Americans not to stockpile fuel. According to GasBuddy, demand for gasoline in the United States increased by 14% on Tuesday compared to the previous week. GasBuddy estimated that nearly 1,800 gas stations in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia were out of fuel as of midnight ET on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, according to AAA, average gas prices surpassed the crucial psychological landmark of $3 per gallon for the first time in more than six years on Wednesday.

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