By Jesse Wood
Gas prices in North Carolina have increased by about a dime in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline leak of an estimated 336,000 gallons of gasoline in Alabama that was discovered by a state inspector on Sept. 9.
The leak is causing gas shortages across the Carolinas as the company works on constructing a temporary pipeline to bypass the damaged section of the pipeline. The company hopes to have the bypass ready later this week.
Gov. Pat McCrory issued a state of emergency to temporarily waive hours of service and additional trucking restrictions to prevent disruptions at major fuel distribution hubs and protect consumers from price gouging. The executive order is in place for 30 days or until cancelled.
“While there are pockets of service stations that have experienced temporary shortages, many have received supplies and others have them scheduled for Monday. The governor has directed Emergency Management officials to stay in contact with local officials should they have any requests for assistance” according to a release from the governor’s office.
Today, AAA titled a press release, “Gas prices slowly rise causing temporary stall to seasonal savings.” AAA noted that Line 1 of the Colonial Pipeline runs from Houston, Texas to Greensboro, N.C. and carries a maximum of 1.2 million barrels of gas per day.
“Until the pipeline bypass is completed, distribution issues will continue to put additional upward pressure on prices in the Southeast and possibly the Mid-Atlantic region. States that may continue to see tighter supply and higher gas prices include Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia,” AAA reported.
While prices across the nation are averaging a few cents higher than last week, a gallon of gas in North Carolina costs about a dime more than it did last week. In Boone, the average for a gallon of gas is about $2.06, according to GasBuddy.com.
“We still have gas at the moment,” Cove Creek Store clerk Judy Hicks said on Monday afternoon at about 3 p.m. “But I don’t know how much longer.”
Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford said that he was aware of several gas stations that were out of gas as of Monday afternoon. As for his department, Crawford said they were conserving gas where possible, engaging in more bicycle and foot patrol than normal.
“We are in conservation mode because we don’t know what it means for us later in the week. We are taking every opportunity to save fuel and without risking the ability to do our job,” Crawford said.
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