Colonial restarting two pipelines after brief Hurricane Ida shutdown

North Carolina

File – In this May 11, 2021 file photo, a Colonial Pipeline station is seen in Smyrna, Ga., near Atlanta. The Biden administration is eyeing ways to harden cybersecurity defenses for critical infrastructure. It’s announcing Wednesday the development of performance goals and a voluntary public-private partnership to protect core sectors. The actions are an acknowledgment of the cybersecurity vulnerabilities of critical industries _ a reality made clear by the May hack of the nation’s largest pipeline. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Colonial Pipeline was working to restart two lines it shut down after Hurricane Ida rolled through. The company expected to return to full service by Monday night.

Gas experts say the supply has been there, but when demand goes up, and people start panic buying, that’s when the real issues begin.

“We all have to do what we have to do!” said Felicia Boyd.

As of right now, there isn’t a gas shortage, and prices haven’t skyrocketed, but that hasn’t stopped the dash for gas.

“Everybody’s freaking out about the gas saying there’s going to be another gas shortage,” said Derrick Randall.

For the second time this year, Colonial Pipeline has shut down. This time from Hurricane Ida. The company announced they shut down two lines from Houston to Greensboro as a precaution following the storm.

“There’s really no concern about supply at this point,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

He says prices may increase slightly, but not much.

“Prices aren’t going to soar,” he said. “They’ll go up modestly, a few cents a gallon here or there over the next couple of weeks, so you’re not going to wake up tomorrow and see prices 20 or 50 cents higher.”

The only way we’ll see supply issues, he says, is if people freak out.

“It’s not the point of freaking out,” Boyd said. “It’s the point of having gas and being able to do what you need to do.”

Some say they’re reminded of the long lines that wrapped around blocks when cyber-criminal group, Darkside, hacked Colonial Pipeline, causing the company to shut down operations.

“It wasn’t necessarily the hacking incident and the pipeline outage in April and May that caused so much disruption,” De Haan said. “It was the fact that everyone was filling plastic bags of gasoline and there’s just no way the system can sustain that amount of demand.”

De Haan says as long as people don’t overwhelm the system, the fuel supply should be fine.

“We’re going to find out in the next couple of days, I guess,” said Randall.

Colonial is performing its restart process and expects to have those two lines from Houston to Greensboro up and running by Monday night.

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