One of the largest pipelines in the nation was forced to shut down after being hit by a cyberattack Friday.
Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the East Coast's fuel supply, has now paused operations. The temporary shut down has left many Midlands residents wondering how it will impact local gas stations.
Lines were formed Monday night at some locations across Columbia with drivers filling up their tanks out of caution. Other gas stations have posted signs and capped the pumps after running out of regular and/or premium gas. Despite the worry from many locals, officials advise to not panic, and not to hoard gas.
There were reports Monday that Colonial Pipeline has set a goal to restore operational service by the end of the week.
In an official statement from the White House Monday, it was reported that administration is continually assessing the impact of the incident on the East Coast's fuel supply. President Joe Biden has directed agencies to bring their resources to help alleviate shortages wherever they may occur, according to the statement.
According to a tweet by Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.com, 1.71% of gas stations in South Carolina are out of fuel, as of Tuesday morning.
Sachini Bandara, owner of two gas stations on Beltline Boulevard and one in Five Points, said they ran out of regular gas around 5 p.m. Monday at her Beltline locations, but her Five Points location still was offering regular as of midday Tuesday.
According to Bandara, many gas stations are now implementing a 20 gallon limit. She said it's every citizens' job to be respectful, responsible, and look out for each other.
"There are other people who really need it to get to their jobs. Only pump what's necessary for you. This is not a time to go from store to store trying to fill up every chance you get," she said.
Bandara also confirmed she received an email from her gas provider Tuesday morning that the pipeline should be restored at some point over the weekend. She said that likely means they will get additional fuel at the end of the week.
She also wanted to remind residents that the issue is out of the local gas station owners' hands. "At times like this we experience a lot of rage and we take the backlash for it, even though it's out of our control," she said. "We are getting a lot of pressure as well. Just hang tight. Everything should be fine. It's not the end of the world."