Gas stations throughout Hatteras Island were inundated with a flood of traffic on Tuesday morning as folks filled up their vehicles in response to the cyberattack on the 5,500-mile Colonial Pipeline, which carries more than 100 million gallons of fuel from Texas to New Jersey every day.
Representatives of the Colonial Pipeline said on Monday that they hope to get most of their operations back online by the weekend, but temporary gas shortages and price hikes were still a concern for multiple regions across the southeast coast, including the Outer Banks.
As of Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m., gas stations in Frisco and Hatteras reportedly only had premium gas left or were completely out, and while some stations on northern Hatteras Island still had all gasoline types available, more than one gas station manager was concerned about running out of fuel within the next several hours.
“We do have a delivery scheduled for today, coming from Chesapeake,” said Istvan Kajari of Breeze Thru in Avon, noting that for most of the morning, the provider stated that the status of the gas delivery was changing “minute by minute.” By noon on Tuesday, however, Kajari had confirmed that the scheduled gasoline delivery was on track.
Another gas station in Rodanthe stated that they were imminently shutting down the tanks in order to reserve fuel for local emergency personnel, and several stations said they were “running low,” although gas deliveries were expected later in the day or week.
By late Tuesday morning, lines at local gas stations had spilled over to the sides of N.C. Highway 12, with some lines at least 20-30 cars deep.
Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order on May 10 declaring a state of emergency in North Carolina, and temporarily suspending motor vehicle fuel regulations, as the Colonial Pipeline is a primary fuel pipeline for the state.
Per Colonial Pipeline, segments of its Texas-to-New Jersey line are being reactivated in steps, and the company has pledged that most service would be restored by the weekend.