Panic at the pump: pipeline shutdown causes trouble in the Midlands

COLOMBIA (WOLO): Filling up at the pump Tuesday has been a struggle for many after a major energy pipeline in the U.S. shut down over the weekend due to a cyber attack. 

Employees at a Circle K on Broad River Road in Irmo said they ran out of regular gas Monday night. By Tuesday morning, lines were backed up with residents filling up with any premium gas left behind. Officials are urging residents to not panic buy gasoline.

“We was hollering about the tissue and all the other paper goods. Now we’re hollering about gas.”

Tammy Douglas says she went to at least 5 gas stations trying to fill up Tuesday. And she’s not alone.

“I’ve been to probably 4 or 5 just up and down the street,” said resident Tristan Lucas. 

Grace Whitman says she’s gone to 3 gas stations. “We knew this was happening, but we were just kind of waiting. Life’s been hectic in general recently. I’m just thankful because you never know maybe the Lord’s coming back.”

While many gas stations are completely sold out, others are only left with premium, leaving many concerned about the rising prices. 

Douglas asked, “what’s going on with the prices on this gas?”

“A lot of people are struggling to pay bills right now, and this is just another thing tacked on top of people struggling financially right now. Normally most people can’t even afford premium when its $2.50 a gallon, now it’s up to like $3.50 a gallon,” explained Lucas. 

According to Gas Buddy, Columbia’s gas prices have increased 9.7 cents a gallon in the last week. Residents have already seen many drivers filling up as much as they can. 

“I saw somebody buy like 5 of the red jugs and filling up their car, so I think people probably are gonna hoard it. But I think you do what you do for your family,” said Whitman. 

“Hold up ma’am, wait, wait, let me get some gas first. Let me get some gas first,” laughs Douglas explaining how she’d react to anyone hoarding gas. “But yeah, I have seen that this morning and it’s not right.”

Employees at one local gas station said they’re hoping a tanker is on its way to refill these gas stations here soon, but they’re not sure when that will happen. 

Here at some tips to keep in mind to conserve fuel, according to AAA:

  • Plan ahead to accomplish multiple errands in one trip, and whenever possible avoid high-traffic times of day.
  • If you own more than one car, use the most fuel-efficient model that meets the needs of any given journey.
  • Remove unnecessary and bulky items from your car. Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use. It takes more fuel to accelerate a heavier car, and the reduction in fuel economy is greater for small cars than for larger models.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning. Even at highway speeds, open windows have less effect on fuel economy than the engine power required to operate the air conditioning compressor.
  • In hot weather, park in the shade or use a windshield sunscreen to lessen heat buildup inside the car. This reduces the need for air conditioning (and thus fuel) to cool down the car.
Categories: Local News