The Sav-a-Lot station with Chevron pumps at the corner of Main Street and East Avenue this afternoon had bags over the pumps and a sign on the door that spelled out the situation clearly: no more regular gas is available at this time.

It didn’t stop people from going inside and making purchases, but the pumps were empty there and at one other station on West Elm Street in downtown Rockmart as well, who had also placed bags over their pumps today.

The cause of the sudden lack of gasoline supply at these stations? The shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

Over the weekend, officials closed off one of the major gasoline supply lines that stretches from Texas to New Jersey and provides millions of gallons of gasoline per day across the southeast from refineries further west. Previous shutdowns of the pipeline – most recently impacting Georgia in a real way following Hurricane Michael in 2018 – have caused shortages before.

Most local gas stations still had a supply – including Walmart and Kroger in Cedartown – but be aware of the likelihood that others will start running out until the pipelines can be opened back up.

In the latest news on the hack that caused the shutdown over the weekend, the New York Times reported that federal officials confirmed that the hacking group DarkSide were responsible for the ransomware that has taken over computer systems controlling the Colonial Pipeline. The group had previously posted online their apology for the disruption it has caused on a massive scale, and admitted their attack was only to gain a profit.

However, that apology didn’t come with a release of the systems back to the pipeline owners and workarounds are being tested.

Officials have also declared an emergency across 17 states because of the shutdown, and lines at gas stations were forming in cities across the East Coast as the supply shrinks. Operators of Colonial Pipeline have told news organizations across the country that they expect service to be back up and running by the end of the week.

Additionally, Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order waiving restrictions on drivers to allow for quicker distribution of fuel being trucked in from out of state.

Prices for gasoline at the pump are on the rise, stations reaching at least $2.89 a gallon for regular when available.

Consumers can report suspected price gouging by calling 404-651-8600 or 1-800-869-1123 (outside metro Atlanta) or completing the online complaint form on CPD’S website

Leave a comment

Please Login to Comment.