Panic Gas Purchases Causes Fuel Shortages in the Southeast

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Currents News Staff

Gas and patience running out all along the East Coast. President Biden is calling on people to not panic as fuel shortages continue in the southeast.  

“I don’t know how this is going to work for all of us,” said motorist Rasheika O’Neal.

Another motorist, Shirley Apley tried different locations, with no luck.

“I’ve went to like six different stations and nobody’s got any gas,” Shirley said.

Demand spiked by 40 percent on Monday, May 10, in five states from Florida to Virginia.

 “I was on my way to my dad’s house and my gas tank is basically empty,” said motorist Tieisha Brown. “And all of the gas pumps has ‘out of service.’”

Officials are blaming public panic for what seems like a sudden short supply.

“The shortages we are seeing are pretty much solely related to panic buying from people and I want to encourage people not to do that,” said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. “Don’t fill up your car unless you have to.”

The nervous fill-ups sparked by last week’s colonial pipeline cyberattack. The U.S. Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm is asking for people not to hoard gasoline.

“There should be no cause for hoarding gasoline, especially in light of the fact the pipeline should be substantially operational by the end of this week,” Jennifer said.

The 5,500 mile pipeline moves roughly 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supply. Gas Buddy reports that more than 1,800 stations are offline. It also reports that in North Carolina, an eye-popping 65 percent are running dry, with long lines stretching for miles.

If drivers are lucky enough to find fuel, it’s costing them.

“Six gallons of gas for $35,” said motorist Leather Kerney. “That’s absolutely ridiculous.”

The average price of a gallon of gas is jumping to three dollars.

“More expensive than we’ve seen in quite some time. Actually, the last time we were at that price point was the end of October in 2014,” said American Automobile Association’s Jeanette C. Mcgee.

Experts warn that panic purchases could create a domino effect – meaning a fear of a gas shortage could actually create one.

“You don’t want to miss out,” said motorist Teresa Finald.You don’t want to be the one that doesn’t get gas.”