Drivers in Triad feeling effects of Harvey, Colonial Pipeline shutdown

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Drivers in the Piedmont Triad are feeling the effects of Harvey and the Colonial Pipeline shutdown.

Gas prices are going up across the state this week.

The Colonial Pipeline Company says it plans to re-open one of its pipelines by Sunday. The company shut it down as a precaution, in case Harvey damages its infrastructure in the southeast.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced a State of Emergency on Thursday to prevent a gas shortage in the state, but experts with AAA told FOX8 that's not likely to happen.

"Supplies are plentiful. They got a good, healthy supply right now, so there shouldn't be any shortages created," said Neil Doroshanko, a AAA travel branch manager in Greensboro. "Now, having said that, if people, you know, panic, and run out and get every gas can they have filled up because they're worried about stations running out, there could be some isolated problems."

The Colonial Pipeline carries more than 100 million gallons of gas from Houston to the Triad. The tanks that supply gas for the East Coast sit right off I-40 in Greensboro.

The pipeline also shut down last year when an explosion hit the pipeline in Alabama. That caused a gas shortage, which caused prices to skyrocket for weeks.

Doroshanko says this shutdown is completely different and drivers don't need to worry about stocking up on gasoline or seeing gas prices top $3 per gallon.

Experts say it's always smart to keep your tank close to full, but if the pipeline opens back up on Sunday as planned, there's no need to panic.

"There's plenty of gas, and if you just follow your normal gas consumption patterns, everything should be fine," Doroshanko said. "And once the pipeline gets back going, if for some reason, as what happened with the fire in Alabama, if the pipeline has some problems, then they have alternate ways to get gas here. They have trucks that can deliver it."