Area residents are starting to feel the pinch, as gas prices are going up, and many Fayetteville stations are running out of fuel – or are at least in a shortage. The increase in demand comes on the heels of the Colonial Pipeline service interruption, caused by a cyber attack.
That pipeline services about 45 percent of the fuel to the East Coast, and with it temporarily shut down, many locations are having trouble getting enough supply to fill demand. Anecdotally, several people on social media are reporting outages around town, particularly of regular unleaded.
Many experts have said there’s very little reason to panic, as the pipeline is expected to be reopened in the coming days, and much of the supply issue is coming from panic demand. A portion of the pipeline running into North Carolina has already been put back online through manual control, Colonial said. That means the gas shortage in Fayetteville is likely just temporary.
This is the third gas station that I’ve been to in Fayetteville this evening that’s been packed. It’s $2.89 here. The 2.65 places are absolute clusters. pic.twitter.com/DOx9bpdMeP— RachaelRiley (@RachaelRiley85) May 11, 2021
According to GasBuddy.com, fuel prices in the Fayetteville area range from $2.59 to $2.81 a gallon, which is up from the previous week.
To help avoid any major issues, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper implemented a precautionary State of Emergency order to allow fuel transportation waivers.
“In response to the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, Governor Roy Cooper today signed an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in North Carolina and temporarily suspending motor vehicle fuel regulations to ensure adequate fuel supply supplies throughout the state,” the Governor’s Office said in a release. “On May 7, 2021, the Colonial Pipeline system reported a ransomware cyber-attack, resulting in a temporary shutdown of that line. The Colonial Pipeline is a primary fuel pipeline for North Carolina.”
“Today’s emergency declaration will help North Carolina prepare for any potential motor vehicle fuel supply interruptions across the state and ensure motorists are able to have access to fuel,” said Governor Cooper.
The pipeline was temporarily shut down as a precaution after a ransomware attack was discovered on the Colonial Pipeline network on May 7. The FBI confirmed that it was a malicious attack.
“The FBI confirms that the Darkside ransomware is responsible for the compromise of the Colonial Pipeline networks,” FBI officials said in a brief statement. “We continue to work with the company and our government partners on the investigation.”