Gas shortage hits Piedmont Triad as a result of Colonial Pipeline gas leak

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Update: People throughout the Piedmont Triad on Saturday scrambled to find gas. Many places, from Greensboro to High Point, are sold out.

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The commute is a routine Darwin Hairston and other working class folks go through at least five days a week.

“Right now just back and forth to work right, I got a nice little distance to go probably about a 30 miles drive,” Hairston said.

That commute to work or elsewhere could become a little more costly for people in North Carolina.

The Colonial Pipeline Co. found a leak in a major gas pipeline last week, and are working to repair it. The pipeline runs from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast serving many stations throughout the south.

“There will be a wide variety of price increases as supply starts to decline,” said GasBuddy Analyst Patrick DeHaan.

DeHaan says some stations may even run dry over the next couple of days. The price increases are simply supply and demand.

The Sheetz at 1813 S. Main St. in High Point said Friday evening their pumps are closed as a result of the leak. The Sheetz at 1620 New Garden Road in Greensboro said their pumps are also closed due to the leak.

“I would say the statewide averages could rise anywhere between five and 25 cents a gallon over the next several days,” DeHaan said. “A lot of the increases is going to be contingent on how quickly motorists are filling their tanks. The more people filling their tanks the worse the problem becomes and the higher prices go.”

Some commuters think the price is bad enough as is.

“Still a little too high, I mean I do a lot of driving so I definitely would like to see them creep on down more,” Hairston said.

While others remain optimistic the market will balance out, knowing it’s not entirely in their control.

To compensate for the gas leak, Colonial Pipeline Co. is trucking and boating the gas to destinations. Governor Pat McCrory signed an executive order Thursday, temporarily lifting some restrictions on how long fuel haulers can operate as they travel through and to North Carolina.

"We are working with state and national officials to make sure North Carolina is not impacted by this leak," McCrory said. "This executive order will help protect our motorists from excessive gas prices and ensure an uninterrupted supply of fuel that is essential for the health, safety and economic well-being of businesses, consumers and visitors in North Carolina."

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