CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Drivers in North Carolina, South Carolina and several other Southern states continued hunting for gasoline Wednesday morning following a major pipeline leak, as the company in charge of fixing the problem said it would take “several days” for the supply to return to normal.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said the state was getting only about a third of the gas supply it normally receives.
“We’ve successfully weathered fuel shortages before, and we will do it again,” McCrory said. “Now is the time to pull together as a state and to conserve fuel when it’s possible.”
A leak in the Colonial Pipeline was discovered Sept. 9, causing a shutdown to fix it and sparking havoc among the 50 million people who depend on it for gasoline. More than 250,000 gallons of gas leaked at the site in Alabama. The pipeline, constructed in 1963, spans from Texas to New Jersey.
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Colonial Pipeline built a 500-foot bypass around the leak and is testing it to make sure it is properly working.
“It is expected to take several days for the fuel delivery supply chain to return to normal,” Colonial Pipeline said in a statement Tuesday. “Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions.”
Many gas stations in North Carolina are completely out of gas.
.@WRAL BP at Buffaloe off 540 clearly has gas…for now. #GasCrisis2016 pic.twitter.com/3BViYgAsqw
— Matt Dougherty (@MattDoc) September 19, 2016
“My brother went to 11 places the other day [before finding gas],” driver Yolanda Hinton told the Raleigh New and Observer. “It was an hour-long wait last night.”
The newspaper reported that the rush to gas pumps that did have gasoline was “akin to the panics before a big hurricane.”
In South Carolina, drivers also are having a tough time finding gas.
“Today I’ve been three places,” driver Ellen Hayes, in Lancaster, South Carolina, told WBTV. “I’ve been off [Highway] 200, I’ve been over there, and now here.”
Other stations have gasoline, but it’s only expensive premium.
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