Moore motorists scrambling for gas as pipeline shutdown continues

Moore County motorists are scrambling for gas as the pipeline shutdown continues.

In response to the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, Governor Roy Cooper Monday 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. The Colonial Pipeline is a primary fuel pipeline for North Carolina. 

“Today’s emergency declaration will help North Carolina prepare for any potential motor vehicle fuel supply interruptions across the state and ensure motorists are able to have access to fuel,” said Governor Cooper.

The Shell station on Old U.S. Highway 1 in Southern Pines had closed pumps on Tuesday as well as the Shell station on U.S. Highway 1. Exxon in Aberdeen on U.S. Highway 1 and Magnolia is out of gas as of Tuesday afternoon. 

The Town of Aberdeen said in a news advisory Tuesday afternoon, “The Aberdeen Police Department would like to remind motorists that citations can be issued for impeding the flow of traffic and blocking roadways. Please be cautious of blocking roadways especially major highways. 

There are reports in Northern Moore County that Robbins and High Falls stations are low in supply as of Tuesday morning, and some spots in Carthage are seeing a 20-minute wait to fuel up. 

Colonial Pipeline said the pipeline should be running again by the end of the week.

“While this situation remains fluid and continues to evolve, the Colonial operations team is executing a plan that involves an incremental process that will facilitate a return to service in a phased approach,” said the company. “This plan is based on a number of factors with safety and compliance driving our operational decisions, and the goal of substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week.”

Feature photo of a long line at Harris Teeter’s gas station in Taylortown by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer Melissa Schaub.

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