Gas shortages popping up across East Tenn. after cybersecurity attack on Colonial Pipeline

Local News

UPDATE: Colonial Pipeline announced it had initiated a restart to its pipeline operations at approximately 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

The company says this restart will take several days for product delivery supply chain to return to normal.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — On May 7, Colonial Pipeline Company was the victim of a cybersecurity attack; on May 11, gas shortages are being reported across East Tennessee.

Some gas stations in Knoxville and around East Tennessee are running low on select fuel types. While other gas stations experienced lines of cars forming early Tuesday morning of people waiting at the pump to fill up their tank.

Weigel’s is reportedly experiencing a gas shortage, according to a brief statement from President Ken McMullen.

Brad Jenkins, Senior Vice President of Supply and Distribution with Pilot Company stated in a release, “We are closely monitoring the rapidly deteriorating situation regarding the Colonial Pipeline and are seeing increased demand for gasoline across various markets in the Southeast region. Due to the unexpected spikes in consumption, there is increased strain on the supply chain and we are working hard to quickly address any temporary shortages. In Knoxville, our Pilot Flying J Travel Centers and Pilot Convenience Stores remain open with adequate fuel supply at this time.”

Jenkins goes on to say, “Pilot Company will continue to do everything we can, including bringing in resources from unaffected areas, to resupply our travel centers with gas and diesel to serve our guests and professional drivers. We will keep our guests informed on fuel availability and greatly appreciate patience as we work to keep up with the quickly evolving market. For store specific updates, please refer to our Pilot Flying J social channels.”

In Hamblen County, local officials and fuel suppliers have met and are work to address the effects of the cybersecurity attack on the Colonial Pipeline Company.

The county says there’s a shortage, not an outage in the Lakeway area: “There is a targeted restart date for the pipeline, but we need the community to conserve fuel when possible. There is fuel being transported to the market from other areas to help alleviate the temporary problem. If we work together as a community to conserve fuel, we can help mitigate a potential outage.”

They have even shared some tips on conserving fuel: carpool, limit trips, work from home if possible, don’t leave your vehicle running, companies with large fleets consider conservation strategies, refrain from hoarding fuel.

REMINDER: AAA is urging against panic-buying of gasoline. Gas experts are wanting people to know that panic-buying only worsens the situation for everyone and warns against it.

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