Drivers in the East react to long lines at the gas pump

Local

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Gas shortages continue to be a serious issue in North Carolina and all across the Southeast United States.

Drivers in Eastern North Carolina are working to keep their tanks filled, as the state works to replenish the fuel supply.

“I kind of rolled my eyes at it at first and now I’m running out of gas, so I might be working from home the rest of the week,” said Ben McElroy, a Greenville resident.

Bagged gas pumps are a familiar scene across Eastern North Carolina.

“I work downtown and have easily seen the bags across all of the gas pumps all throughout town,” said McElroy. “I was in Kinston yesterday. Passed four or five locations and it was the same thing there.”

Lines were wrapped around the Sheetz off County Home Road, as the gas tanker pulled up to replenish fuel.

“By the time you get situated to get in the line, you’re another ten cars behind and everybody is fighting for the same gas pumps,” said McElroy.

Several people at the pump said they’ve waited in line upwards of 40 minutes to fill up their tanks this week.

“It was a long wait for gas, but it was worth it because I was almost on E,” said Edouard Jackson, Greenville resident.

Some have even seen others getting aggressive.

“I mean I’ve seen people irate, upset. I mean I’ve seen people just ya know belligerent because they’re scared that somebody’s going to jump them or something like that, so it’s been scary just the fact that we might not have gas,” said Jackson.

The panic for fuel comes after the Colonial Pipeline ransomware cyberattack that happened last week. It has several gas stations across Eastern North Carolina running on empty.

“They’re out of all types of gas, whether it’s the ethanol-free or whatever,” said McElroy. “It’s a nightmare right now.”

The average price of a gallon reached three dollars Wednesday morning for the first time since 2014.

“That’s the last thing on my mind right now,” said McElroy. “It’s just getting enough fuel in there so I can get where I need to be.”

Colonial Pipeline initiated the restart of pipeline operations Wednesday evening. Officials said it will take several days for the supply to return to normal.

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