- Gas stations across the US are running out in the wake of a crippling cyberattack.
- The Colonial Pipeline that supplies the East Coast has been down since it was hacked last week.
- Sixty percent of gas stations in Atlanta were out, one analyst said, and 25% across North Carolina.
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More than 1,000 gas stations in eastern US states ran out of gasoline after a cyberattack knocked out a crucial US pipeline that supplies much of the region’s gasoline.
Price rises and panic-buying followed the news, which led to widespread shortages as operators struggled to move fuel supplies without the out-of-action Colonial Pipeline.
According to data from the app GasBuddy, as of early Wednesday the worst-hit states were North Carolina, where 24.8% of stations were out of gas; Georgia, where 15.4% were empty; and Virginia, where 15% had run out.
There were acute shortages in Atlanta, where almost 60% of stations were out of gas Wednesday morning, Charlotte, where the figure was 71%, and Raleigh where it was 72%.
The extent of the shortages had worsened since the previous night. The figures were tweeted by Patrick De Haan, a petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.
-Patrick De Haan ⛽️???? (@GasBuddyGuy) May 12, 2021
Citing data from S&P’s Oil Price Information Service, the Associated Press reported that at least 1,000 gas stations had run out of gasoline by Tuesday.
People told CBS News that lines at some gas stations in South Carolina were more than an hour long.
Some motorists recorded long lines snaking out of gas stations.
-Estephany Escobar (@EstephanyNews) May 11, 2021
-Joseph Holloway (@jhollowaynews) May 11, 2021
The crunch in fuel supply has been blamed on a ransomware attack Friday that forced the closing of part of the Colonial Pipeline. The 8,851km network supplies about 45% of the East Coast’s fuel.
The Biden administration has said the pipeline will be working again in the next few days and has urged Americans not to stockpile fuel.
“We are asking people not to hoard,” US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters at the White House. “Things will be back to normal soon.”
Colonial in a statement said it hoped to reopen the pipeline by Friday. It has taken a delivery of an extra 2 million barrels in fuel to deploy when the pipeline is opened, Reuters reported.
The shortage has seen prices for unleaded gas rise to an average of $2.99 a gallon, the highest since 2014, The American Automobile Association said.