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ABC News via YouTube
ABC News via YouTube

A fuel shortage in some states along the United States eastern seaboard will likely soon be coming to an end. The shortage, brought on mostly by panic buying, has been blamed on an interruption in service on the Colonial Pipeline. That pipeline and its flow of fuel to that part of the country was the victim of a cyberattack over the weekend.

The Colonial Pipeline Company announced a restart of pipeline operations at about 4 pm Wednesday Louisiana time. The pipeline is the largest fuel transmission line from the refineries of the Gulf Coast to fuel distributors of the East Coast. The pipeline stretches some 5,500 miles and is responsible for moving about 50% of the fuel distributed along the east coast of the United States.

The pipeline, which has been offline since Friday, is now once again moving fuel to areas of the country where many service stations have reported running completely out of gasoline. But, despite the fact that fuel is once again flowing and emergency measures have been put into place to ease the fuel crunch some cities and gas stations won't be getting fuel right away.

It is estimated that a return to normal fuel delivery and availability will take several days. Not only does the fuel have to travel along the pipeline but jobbers and truckers tasked with moving that fuel to gas stations will have to play catch-up over the next few days to restore fuel supplies to normal.

Colonial Pipeline said in a press release that some markets "may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period. Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal".

Here in Louisiana, there were reports of a few lines at a few gas stations around the area but for the most part, people here understand the situation. The fact that so many fuel refineries are basically in our backyard meant that drivers in Louisiana were not really going to be affected by the pipeline's shutdown anyway.

But, much like the big run on toilet paper last year during the early days of the pandemic, many people were spooked by false information, especially on social media sites, into filling up their vehicles and spare gas cans just in case.

Well, since we can't get mad about a gas shortage, wanna get mad about something else? How about those people that drive those cars that burn that gas?

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