Gas stations across the area are seeing long lines, if they’re even open, due to the Colonial Pipeline shutdown.
The pipeline feeds roughly half of the gasoline supply in North Carolina and along much of the East Coast. A ransomware attack on the company forced them to shut down automated systems Friday. Manual operations are being brought online, and company officials hope to have their computerized system up and running by the weekend.
In the meantime, long lines began forming across Whiteville and Columbus County Monday as supplies got low and panic buying set in.
Stations at Lake Waccamaw ran out of fuel early Tuesday, and one station at Riegelwood expected to be out of fuel by noon. Multiple stations in Whiteville were out of gas before 10 a.m., and lines formed at stations in Tabor city and Chadbourn before 8 a.m.
Traffic backed up for two blocks on Jefferson Street in Whiteville as Barnes Exxon rationed drivers to $20 per vehicle.