NC, VA facing about 7 to 14 days of ‘headaches’ as Colonial Pipeline reopens, GasBuddy reports


GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — GasBuddy took a look at how long it’ll be before the gas situation is back to normal, and, well, it isn’t looking pretty.

A cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline forced a shutdown last week, sparking a supply crunch with people across North Carolina and Virginia and elsewhere struggling to find gasoline at pumps. Colonial Pipeline restarted pipeline operations around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, but we may continue to feel the impacts for days to come.

According to Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy, the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia are looking at about seven to 14 days of headaches.

“The situation will definitely take time and slowly improve due to a high number of outages and higher number of stations to refuel,” he said.

Alabama, Delaware, Mississippi and West Virginia will only deal with about two to five days of problems.

Washington D.C., Florida, Maryland and Tennessee are looking at about five to 12 days.

“Just ahead of Memorial Day weekend or so, finding gasoline shouldn’t require too much,” he said. “You may occasionally find a station without fuel, but outages should be <20% by then in all areas.”

Drivers on the Virginia Peninsula told 10 On Your Side successfully finding fuel this week almost feels like winning the lottery.

“I’m excited because I got gas. I never thought I’d be happy about getting gas like this,” said Regina Jenkins.

“I filled up as soon as I found out so I’m OK, but I’m hoping that when I do return to get gas that I’m fortunate enough to get some,” said Bobbi Kidd.

Holly Dalby, spokesperson for AAA Tidewater Virginia, also shared reassurance about gas availability.

“The restart of the pipeline is very positive news for motorists,” Dalby said. “While impact won’t be seen immediately and motorists in affected areas can expect to see a few more days of limited fuel supply, relief is coming. Station pumps will be full of fuel in several days. This is an especially good update ahead of the Memorial Day holiday.”

Gas prices as of May 13, 2021VirginiaHampton RoadsRichmond
Monday, May 10$2.77$2.73$2.75
Week Ago$2.75$2.68$2.74
Month Ago$2.71$2.66$2.70
Year Ago$1.69$1.69$1.68

That’s a significant drop from what’s been seen for many areas in North Carolina.

GasBuddy released a chart showing what percentage of gas stations were facing outages in different DMAs of the southeastern U.S.

The Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem area was just a few decimal points away from 50% gas stations facing outages Wednesday into Thursday.

The Raleigh-Durham area was hovering around 80%.

The single highest point on the chart was Chattanooga, Tennessee, just before 8 p.m. Wednesday where 93.75% of gas stations were out.

Clerks running gas stations are anxious for the next fuel trucks to arrive.

No gas means hardly any customers – a double whammy for sales.

“Nobody wants to come in for the last three days,” said Dee, a clerk at Raceway in Hampton. “If people don’t want to come for gas, they don’t want to come inside and buy anything.”

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