RALEIGH, NC (FOX Carolina)- Governor Cooper signed an executive order Monday declaring a state of emergency in North Carolina because of the concerns about fuel supply caused by the Colonial pipeline cyber-attack.
Officials say that the executive order will temporarily suspend motor vehicle fuel regulations in North Carolina to ensure that there is enough of a fuel supply throughout the state.
Colonial Pipeline said they learned Friday the company was the victim of a cybersecurity attack. To contain the threat, the company said they took certain systems offline, temporarily halting all pipeline operations.
On Monday afternoon, the company said segments of the pipeline were being brought back online in a "stepwise fashion."
According to officials, the Colonial Pipeline is the primary fuel pipeline in North Carolina. It runs through the Upstate of South Carolina.
Gov. Cooper said in a press release, "today’s emergency declaration will help North Carolina prepare for any potential motor vehicle fuel supply interruptions across the state and ensure motorists are able to have access to fuel.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a temporary hours of service exemption on Sunday to avoid supply disruption from the pipeline.
FOX Carolina reached out to gas stations across the western Carolinas to determine impacts, if any, on fuel supply.
The following gas stations were out of fuel as of 11 p.m. Monday:
- QuikTrip – 2701 Pelham Road, Greenville, SC
- Ingles – 3643 Howard Gap Road, Hendersonville, NC
- Ingles – 1920 Asheville Highway, Hendersonville, NC (Still had diesel)
- Shell – 660 Weaverville Road, Asheville, NC
- Shell – 374 Rodney Orr Bypass, Robbinsville, NC
A Shell station on Laurens Road in Greenville, SC said they are experiencing limited fuel supply.
FOX Carolina has reached out to Ingles Markets and Shell's corporate media offices for a statement.
GasBuddy activated their fuel availability tracker for people in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Virginia in response to the pipeline shutdown.
However, in a Facebook Live on Sunday, a GasBuddy petroleum analyst said filling up your gas tank if you don't need to will cause supply issues to increase and be in effect longer. GasBuddy said there is plenty of supply from refineries, and when the pipeline reopens, it will continue moving.
"If everybody is going out and filling up, there could be challenges for several weeks and prices could go even higher," said analyst Patrick De Haan. Click here to read more.
We also reached out to the South Carolina Governor's Office for a statement regarding the Colonial Pipeline attack.
A spokesperson said since South Carolina is already under a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic response, any waivers needed to deal with the Colonial Pipeline are already in place.
"Our office is in constant communication with the Office of Regulatory Staff and if any additional actions are needed, the governor will take them," a spokesperson for Governor McMaster said.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Eastern, Southern, and Western Service Center also issued a regional state of emergency for multiple states in the southeast, including South Carolina and North Carolina.