Pipeline problems causing some small businesses to adjust in the Triad

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Pipeline problems are putting a pinch on businesses that count on gas to get their jobs done. Owners are adjusting the services they provide customers.

“I was just a little shocked,” said Jarad Webster, who owns Webster Lawn Care in Greensboro. “I never experienced this before.”

Webster cuts more than two dozen lawns a week. Fuel is a big need for him and when he stopped by the BP gas station on Liberty Road in Greensboro the pumps were out.

It’s another hurdle for him in an already tough year.

“Everything from COVID to shortages we had last year on things, it’s just hurting a lot of people and businesses right now,” he said. “Just uncertain of what’s to happen in the future weeks to come.”

Webster told FOX8 around 80 percent of his business relies on fuel. Gallons of gas needed to start his outdoor power equipment.

“There’s a lot of businesses out there that rely on petroleum for their businesses to keep growing,” Webster said.

Ed Washam’s business also relies on petroleum. He owns Gate City Towing in Greensboro. He’s now relying solely on his own fuel reserve to get through the uncertainty.

“If you get on the interstate anything that’s easily accessible off the interstate is out of fuel,” Washam said. “There’s no gas there and then the rural areas where we go all the rural gas stations are all out.”

In Randolph County less gas means fewer rides for seniors on the Regional Coordinated Area Transportation System known as RCATS.

“We have to take it day by day,” said Mark Hensley, the executive director of Randolph County Senior Adults Association.

Hensley told FOX8 out-of-county rides to doctors appointments or on-demand rides are paused until there’s gas to fill up the tanks. Trips in Randolph County for medical treatments are still a go.

“If it stretches much longer than that’s when we would get concerned about the ability to provide doctor appointments,” Hensley said.

Webster hopes more fuel will become available when the pipeline is restored.

“Otherwise, I just have to find some other alternatives to taking care of my business and go from there,” he said. “I just hope for the best.”

Officials with the Colonial Pipeline told FOX8 pipeline operations restarted on Wednesday.

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