The country’s largest fuel pipeline is back online after a cyberattack shut it down for nearly a week. The Colonial Pipeline company warned it will take several days for deliveries to return to normal. While this is positive news, some local gas stations are struggling to stay open.
Experts said it’s not a supply issue, but people are panic buying and officials urge everyone to stop.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, pumps in Jacksonville are not supplied by the colonial pump, but through JaxPort. Pipeline operations restarted Wednesday. The Florida Petroleum Marketing Association said the challenge isn’t how much fuel is in the system right now, but where. “There is plenty of fuel in the system it’s just reallocating it. So we’re reallocating out of Jacksonville reallocating out of Tampa,” said Ned Bowman from the Florida Petroleum Marketing Association.
In the meantime, drivers have been finding gas stations with little or no gas throughout the southeast. There have been no notable spikes in fuel prices across northeast Florida and southeast Georgia.
According to Gas Buddy’s online outage tracker, there were many more yellow gas stations Thursday morning compared to Wednesday morning.
Governor Ron DeSantis signed an emergency order Wednesday. He said only 2% of gas stations in the state have run out of fuel.
I have signed an emergency order to ensure all resources are available for Floridians and businesses to assist in mitigating problems with the gas supply resulting from the pipeline cyber attack. Please do not hoard gas in a panic. https://t.co/O8FBncgpeY— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 12, 2021
Mayor Lenny Curry also responded on social media and asked people to only get gas when they need it.
We have zero gas supply issues in Jax because of the Colonial Pipeline. Our issue now is panic buying. Our supply chain is fine. Local panic buying is creating long lines and draining local gas stations for no good reason. Relax. Pump gas when you need it.— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) May 12, 2021
Gas stations in Mandarin and the western part of Northern St. Johns County seemed to have issues. There were also widespread outages along U.S. 1 from Ponte Vedra to Palm Coast.