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‘Panic buying’ creating shortages at multiple gas stations

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 5:45 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Several gas stations are running low on fuel as hundreds of people rushed to gas stations on Tuesday.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued a state of emergency Monday allowing for fuel transportation waivers in the wake of the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline.

In response to the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, Gov. Cooper signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in North Carolina and temporarily suspending motor vehicle fuel regulations to ensure adequate fuel supply supplies throughout the state.

On May 7, the Colonial Pipeline system reported a ransomware cyberattack, resulting in a temporary shutdown of that line.

Malihe Moosavi ran out of gas Tuesday morning after trying to fill up at different busy gas stations.

“I had to back up and leave and then I ran out of gas right down there. My sister came, saved me, gave me a gallon of gas, and now we’re here,” Moosavi said.

Across Charlotte, multiple gas stations had pumps covered with plastic bags and “no gas” signs.

Officials with GasBuddy say the “panic buying” has caused serval stations across the region to run dry.

Stanley Brooks runs a lawnmower business.

On average he goes to five homes a week and says he usually pays $40 to fill up but now it takes $65.

“It’s not a good thing,” Brooks said.

As of Tuesday, GasBuddy is reporting North Carolina’s average price for gas as $2.798 compared to $2.729 in South Carolina.

Brooks needs the gas not just for his truck but his lawnmowers and portable containers too.

“I only use this for customers’ lawnmowers when they don’t have the gas so I have to put the gas in their lawnmower for them so they won’t have to run to the store,” Brooks said.

Drivers are encouraging people to listen to the experts and be patient instead of buying more than they need.

“Do not panic too much there’s gas for everyone in just a short [amount] of time,” one man said.

Gov. Cooper is encouraging people to report price gouging and not rush to top off their tanks.

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