Dash for gas fuels shortages, long lines

By on May 11, 2021

(Photos by Mark Jurkowitz)
(Photos by Mark Jurkowitz)
(Photos by Mark Jurkowitz)
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Long lines and “No gas” signs were the order of the day on May 11 as the Outer Banks has started feeling the impact of the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. By mid-afternoon, a drive along the bypass in Kill Devil Hills, for example, revealed either empty stations that had run out of supply or overcrowded ones that created traffic jams and required someone to play traffic cop.

As chief executive of one of the states affected by the shutdown, Governor Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency and has allowed for fuel waivers to make it easier to transport fuel supply in North Carolina.

In an effort to stem a panicky stampede to the gas pumps, he also released a statement on May 11 indicating that, “I have talked today with federal officials including Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and we have a full court press to get the Colonial Pipeline back up and fully operating quickly. Report price gouging and please don’t rush to top off your tanks.”

In the meantime, the AAA has released a forecast of higher prices at the pump as a result of the pipeline shutdown. Noting that the price of a gallon jumped 6 cents to $2.96 last week, the AAA release quotes spokesperson Jeanette McGee as saying, “Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the east coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases, as early as this week. These states may see prices increase three to seven cents this week.”

Long lines at Hatteras gas stations after pipeline hack





  • Dano

    And liberals don’t want pipelines or the the U.S. to be energy self sufficient. I see a lot of cars from liberal states here on vacation. I suggest that those that are all in on electric cars don’t go on vacation until our infrastructure can support them. (Not many charging stations on outerbanks)

    Tuesday, May 11 @ 6:21 pm
  • James

    What does hackers that have taken control of the pipeline distribution and holding a ransomware have to do with liberals? Should it be a requirement that if you want a cybersecurity job you should be a so called conservative or would you have Trump come in take over and burn the pipeline to the ground?

    Tuesday, May 11 @ 9:46 pm
  • Zack Bass

    Huge SUV’s with gas cans at the pumps. All for one and me for me.

    Wednesday, May 12 @ 5:46 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Let me say this now, so no one else wastes their time. There are plenty of aspects of this story to comment on that can be of value and interest to our readers. But there will be no more comments published that turn this story into another polarizing battle with insulting comments either blaming liberals or conservatives or Biden or Trump for the hack. If you feel compelled to discuss this topic by making a political statement, I would recommend social media.

    Wednesday, May 12 @ 12:08 pm
  • hightider

    Now that we live in such uncertain times – and with the hurricane season about to begin – I make a point of keeping my tank full. Fortunately I topped it off last Wed and will keep my driving to a bare minimum until the ransomware crisis has passed. I learned the hard way many years ago that emergencies come unannounced and best to always have a full tank of gas.

    Wednesday, May 12 @ 12:15 pm
  • KHer

    >>>Dano: I suggest that those that are all in on electric cars don’t go on vacation until our infrastructure can support them.<<<

    What came first, the chicken or the egg? Charging stations are not going to pop up if nobody had electric cars. The E car wave is coming and the charging stations will follow. Most E car owners have a charging station at their home, most charging is done at home. (I happen to drive a plug-in hybrid so I can go 60 miles on elec and then much more on the gas engine) Lead, follow or get out of the way.

    Wednesday, May 12 @ 12:42 pm
  • One voice

    So my comment doesn’t get posted.
    I read the story I reacted to the derailment of Dano from the story. Since my post did not go up am I to assume it is my post that was inappropriate?
    I don’t feel it’s good for misleading statements to detract from the issue at hand… I believe that was my point.

    Wednesday, May 12 @ 1:56 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    One Voice, why don’t you resend the comment.

    Wednesday, May 12 @ 4:27 pm
  • sandflea

    If there ever was a wake-up call to update our infrastructure, this is it. If we had mostly electric vehicles, we wouldn’t be holding ourselves hostage to petroleum/fossil fuels.

    Wednesday, May 12 @ 1:58 pm
  • Chris Creighton

    Is there any information concerning when the local stations will be resupplied. I’m a mail carrier and don’t have enough gas to deliver tomorrow.

    Wednesday, May 12 @ 2:36 pm
  • John A

    Thank you Mark. This is a complicated issue that we all will have to come to grips with. Backbiting will help not at all.

    Wednesday, May 12 @ 2:44 pm
  • Pat F

    An electric car is a natural gas, coal, and nuclear powered car. Where do people think electricity comes from? Oh yeah the wall outlet. Duh.

    Wednesday, May 12 @ 6:45 pm
  • James

    Pat – true however you left out wind, solar and hydropower. They make around 20% of the US electricity.

    Thursday, May 13 @ 1:18 am
  • outis

    An electric car may be a “natural gas, coal, or nuclear powered car” at this time, but it doesn’t have to be. If we made more use of existing solar and wind energy technology (renewable), the previous statement would not have to be true. We could then likely avoid problems like this current crisis, and others. In a much more basic form, all electricity (energy) comes from the sun.
    Like “hightider”, we are trying not to drive anywhere unnecessarily. But the tourist certainly are not doing that. The NC Aquarium parking lot was packed full yesterday, even with limited admissions, and I bet the Outlet Mall was packed as well. But I guess that was necessary driving, while the County and Towns are all trying to make sure we have enough gasoline for emergency vehicles, and other important needs.

    Thursday, May 13 @ 7:47 am
  • sandflea

    Pat F;
    I’m guessing that you don’t know very much about energy. The transportation sector by far consumes the most amount of fossil fuels; namely petroleum. Fossil fuels are in fact needed to bridge us to alternative sources. Coal and nuclear plants provide an enormous amount of electrical energy. Solar and wind energy and hydro energy provide a lot energy to homes and businesses. By getting off of petroleum, we will not only clean up our environment; but we will also help to eliminate the need to be dependent upon obsolete forms of energy; ie fossil fuels. If we had mostly electric vehicles, we wouldn’t be held hostage to some Russian hacker group that has essentially disrupted life on the entire east coast. Oh yeah, cars don’t run on coal, gas or nuclear….duh!

    Thursday, May 13 @ 8:53 am
  • Lucas

    The thing about electric vehicles that is not talked about is when the battery packs are no longer any good. These end up in landfills and they are not biodegradable. The disruption in the supply of gas is inconvenient however, the answer to problems like this are not electric vehicles. I spent 4 years in high school traveling all over the country racing an electric car with a team from our high school. We raced against schools all over the place and many colleges were also involved in racing electric vehicles so I have had quite a bit of exposure to electric vehicles. That being said, I don’t believe that they are a viable option to completely replace gas burning vehicles. Trying to move completely away from fossil fuels just opens up a whole new can of worms. What happens when a solar farm or wind farm is built? We lose farm land or forest land. I personally think wind farms are aesthetically attractive. I cant say the same for solar farms… They are hideous! Both come at a cost though. Nothing is free and the push to move away from fossil fuels hasn’t been completely thought through. We have more than enough fossil fuel left in the world and don’t need to worry about running out. What we do need to do is wage a much heavier war on cyber crime…

    Thursday, May 13 @ 11:05 am