After a hack shut down the crucial Colonial pipeline, southeastern states have been struck by gas shortages, with North Carolina hit especially hard. According to GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan, 71 percent of gas stations in Charlotte, the state’s largest city, are out of fuel. Statewide, 25 percent of gas stations are dry, said De Haan. Virginia, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina have all declared a state of emergency over the pipeline shutdown. According to De Haan, more than 60 percent of gas stations in Atlanta, Georgia are out of fuel as well.
White House Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said at a press conference that Colonial officials are working on getting the critically important fuel conduit, which supplies 45 percent of the east coast’s fuel, back up and running. A “full restart decision” could come as early as Wednesday evening. Experts have said the shortage is being worsened by panic buying, with Raymond James energy analyst Pavel Molchanov calling it a “self-fulfilling prophecy” and likening it to early pandemic toilet paper hoarding.