McCrory: Gas supply back to normal in 2-3 days

Governor McCrory says gas supplies will be back to normal within a couple days and says no one needs to rush to the gas station.

ATLANTA (AP) - The pipeline company working to repair a leak that led to gas shortages and higher prices for drivers across the South says its bypass repair is complete and it expects to restart its main gasoline line Wednesday.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory held a news conference Tuesday and said the gas supply will be back to normal in two to three days.
In the meantime, the executive order remains in effect waiving hours of service requirements, which hope to help suppliers deliver gasoline more quickly and efficiently.
Colonial Pipeline spokesman Steve Baker tells The Associated Press that testing is now being done on the line.
Baker said crews have been working around the clock to get fuel to markets, and that it will take a few days for the fuel supply chain to fully recover after the line restarts.
The 500-foot  (152- meter) bypass was needed to move fuel around the leak of its main gasoline pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama. The leak, which spilled 6,000 barrels of gasoline into a detention pond, was detected Sept. 9.
McCrory said western North Carolina and Charlotte are the hardest hit by the shortage.  The western part of the state will  take longer to get back to normal.
Governor cautions drivers not to rush to the pumps.
"The official announcement from Colonial that they have fixed it is more reason to be calm," McCrory said.

Both governors in North and South Carolina have issued executive orders waiving hours of service requirements, which hope to help suppliers deliver gasoline more quickly and efficiently. 

Monday, McCrory activated North Carolina’s State Emergency Response Team to coordinate with counties regarding fuel needs as Colonial Pipeline officials continue working to fix a damaged pipeline that supplies much of the East Coast with petroleum products.

“I continue to warn motorists to be on the lookout for price gouging,” said Governor McCrory on Monday. “We are taking steps to protect consumers and ensure that fuel is continuing to flow into the state. To help ensure adequate fuel supplies, I have instructed state agencies to consider options to limit fuel use, including curtailing non-essential travel for state employees.”

McCrory has also asked people to limit unnecessary travel. 

"The governor, who is working with state officials and industry leaders to monitor fuel supply issues, today issued an executive order waiving federal transportation regulations to ensure expedited fuel delivery. Consumers can and should purchase fuel as they would normally – and as engineers work to repair pipeline issues, we will continue to monitor developments in the region," said Nikki Haley's press secretary Chaney Adams. 

The City of Charlotte said Monday that they're closely monitoring the fuel supply this week, but at this time, the City doesn't anticipate the leak to affect the delivery of city services. 

Lines formed at gas stations across the South on Saturday and drivers who were able to find fuel had to pay more for it in some cases, as prices edged up following a pipeline spill in Alabama.

Fuel supplies in at least five states – Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas – were threatened by the spill, and the U.S. Department of Transportation ordered the company responsible to take corrective action before the fuel starts flowing again.

Colonial Pipeline Co. must conduct testing and analysis on the failed section of the pipeline, according to the U.S. Transportation Department, which is investigating the spill in rural Alabama.

The company has acknowledged that between 252,000 gallons and 336,000 gallons of gasoline leaked from a pipeline near Helena, Alabama, since the spill was first detected Sept. 9. It’s unclear when the spill actually started.

With the lack of gas, many stations are closing down temporarily. 
In response to some stations not being able to supply gas, others have raised the prices. The Attorney General's office is warning people of price gouging, and to report any signs of it.
Price gouging is when sellers spike prices higher than what is considered fair. Some would say they raise the prices to an 'unethical' extent. 

Drivers in Atlanta found some pumps completely dry or they had to pay 20 cents more because, according to a sign on the pump, the gas had to be pulled from Savannah.

“I just came into town, so this is shocking to me,” said Gina Dorman, as she filled up her nearly empty tank. She said she tried to get gas at several pumps at the service station before finding one that had gas flowing.

At a Kroger gas station a couple of miles away, orange cones were set up where cars usually park to get fuel. The pumps were completely dry and attendants were not sure when they would get more gas. Many drivers said they didn’t know about the spill.

Rob Gomes said his wife called him and told him to fill up after hearing about the shortage.

“We were out, so we said, let’s gas up,” he said.

Colonial Pipeline announced Saturday it is beginning construction of a temporary pipeline that will bypass a leaking section of its main gasoline pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama, according to

Tennessee Emergency Management Director Patrick Sheehan tried to reassure drivers.

“Tennessee’s consumers need to maintain their normal driving and fuel buying habits. If consumers fill up unnecessarily, top off their tanks when they aren’t close to empty, and fill multiple containers at the pumps, then our petroleum retailers will not be able to keep up with the demand of the fuel supply,” he said.


Copyright 2016 WCNC


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