Gas shortages intensify in Southeast, with 28 percent of North Carolina stations now dry
Panic-buying has emptied 28 percent of North Carolina’s fuel stations and is exacerbating gasoline shortages across the Southeast, underscoring the real-world implications of a cyberattack that forced Colonial Pipeline offline last week.
More than 17 percent of the stations in Georgia and Virginia were dry Wednesday, according to GasBuddy, and states as far as West Virginia and Kentucky also are running out. Major metropolitan areas have been hit hardest by the shortages, with more than 70 percent of the stations out of gasoline in Charlotte, Raleigh and Greenville, as well as roughly 60 percent of those in Norfolk and Atlanta, according to Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s head oil analyst.
As of Wednesday, governors in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia had declared states of emergency and taken steps to relax fuel transport rules to ease some of the pain at the pump. But the run on gas stations also is colliding with a shortage of truck drivers, compounding the logistical challenges as states try to fill in for the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel.
The Colonial Pipeline system shut down Friday after hackers thought to be based in the former Soviet Union infiltrated servers and encrypted its data, demanding a fee to restore access.
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