Local residents urged not to panic over gas crisis

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Gasoline prices soared significantly during Tuesday’s gas “crisis,” but local authorities and American Automobile Association (AAA) officials encourage consumers not to panic.

A ransonware cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline caused a temporary shutdown and led to long lines at gas stations throughout the southeast..

In Wayne County, most gas stations ran empty by mid-afternoon. Some residents were able to find fuel at “out-of-the-way” spots, but paid any where from 10 to 15 additional cents to fill up their tanks.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper loosened restrictions on vehicles transporting petroleum products in North Carolina to keep gas stations supplied during this time.

The state’s emergency management and energy offices, along with other partners, are working to ensure proactive measures are in place should the incident worsen.

The pipeline is expected to be back online this weekend.

“Residents can help prevent shortages by only purchasing fuel as they need it,” said EMS officials from Wayne County. “Fuel supplies remain strong, and it still being delivered to retailers. Supplies are only scarce due to panic buying of fuel products.

“In the meantime, Wayne County is implementing some simple fuel reduction plans for non-emergency departments to help ease the demand for gasoline in our area.”

Residents are asked to avoid unnecessary trips, don’t leave vehicles idling and maximize the number of passengers in a vehicle for a trip.

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