Gas scramble continues as pipeline operator tries to return to service

There was no gas to be had at the Shell station in the town of Louisa on May 12.

People around Louisa County scrambled to load up on gas Tuesday and Wednesday amid uncertainty about when a pipeline that serves the Mid-Atlantic region might go back in service.

The rush to stock up led most gas stations in the county to run out of fuel at least temporarily. Lines of cars backed up onto East Main Street at the Sheetz in the town of Louisa, the only station in town that was open on Wednesday. Similar scenes played out at stations on Lake Anna, in Zion Crossroads and elsewhere in the area.

Colonial Pipeline said it would release a plan on Wednesday for restoring full service after its computer systems were hacked at the start of the week, according to national news sources. The details of when that would happen were unavailable as of Wednesday afternoon.

An employee at the BP station in the town of Louisa said that a fuel truck restocked his station on Tuesday morning with a supply of gas that normally would last for a week. By that evening, all of the gas was gone, with some customers spending as much as $500 to fill multiple jerrycans along with their vehicles.

At the Shell station across town, staff said they had no idea when the next shipment of gas was due. But some stations were doing okay. A staffer at Johnny’s Quik Stop said the station had enough to last the next two days, “unless it gets crazy.”

B&L Market in Buckner posted on their Facebook page that when their next fuel shipment arrives, they would impose a limit on how much gas individual customers can have.

According to the app GasBuddy, which is updated regularly, the town of Louisa Sheetz, K&B Market in Trevilians, the Exxon and Shell in Zion Crossroads, and Johnny’s and the Exxon in the town of Mineral had gas as of 5 p.m. this afternoon. The app does not appear to have data from all gas stations, however.

 

The pipeline in question passes through Louisa County, carrying fuel from Texas and the Gulf Coast to end points in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. 

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