Many eastern U.S. states continued to experience shortages of gasoline on Friday, even after Colonial Pipeline resumed operations late on Wednesday.
As the operator of America’s main fuel pipeline warned, a full return to normal deliveries after a ransomware attack forced a total shutdown last Friday would take a few days.
The main pipeline carrying gasoline and diesel to the U.S. East Coast shut down after a ransomware attack late last week, sparking a run to gas stations and sending gasoline prices surging. As of May 14, the national average price of regular gasoline had jumped to $3.039 per gallon, topping this week the $3 mark for the first time since 2014.
On Friday, Washington DC had 86 percent of gas stations without fuel, North Carolina – 72 percent, Georgia – 51 percent, South Carolina – 53 percent, Virginia – 53 percent, Maryland – 42 percent, according to GasBuddy data. On Thursday, GasBuddy added New Jersey, Delaware, Louisiana, and Texas to the list of monitored states for outages.
“Most of these states/areas with outages have continued to see panicked buying, which is likely a contributing factor to the slow-ish recovery thus far. It will take a few weeks,” Patrick De Haan, oil & refined products analyst at GasBuddy, tweeted on Friday.
More than a thousand fuel stations in the Southeast have sounded the alarm on gasoline and diesel shortages caused by panic buying and shuttered pipelines. Even people in Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley, rushed to the gas stations on Wednesday, Bloomberg reports.
The price of gasoline has also jumped since the Colonial Pipeline outage on May 7. According to AAA, the national gas price average increased by 7 cents between Friday and Thursday.
Relief is coming, but it will take a few more days, AAA 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,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee said on Thursday.