BENSON, NC - MAY 12: Motorists use gas pumps at a refueling station on May 12, 2021 in Benson, North Carolina. Most stations in the area along I-95 are without fuel following the Colonial Pipeline hack. The 5,500 mile long pipeline delivers a large percentage of fuel on the East Coast from Texas up to New York. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images) North Carolina Gas Shortage
BENSON, NC - MAY 12: Motorists use gas pumps at a refueling station on May 12, 2021 in Benson, North Carolina. Most stations in the area along I-95 are without fuel following the Colonial Pipeline hack. The 5,500 mile long pipeline delivers a large percentage of fuel on the East Coast from Texas up to New York. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

In parts of North Carolina, up to 70% of stations are without fuel after panic-buyers swamped the pumps.

Slow your roll, NC. 

By now you know about the Colonial Pipeline hack that has led to a panic about gas shortages, particularly in our neck of the woods. 

The hack caused the pipeline that delivers roughly 45% of all fuel to the East Coast to temporarily close down its network over the weekend, but that didn’t mean there would be a shortage of the fuel supply. 

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In response to these events, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Monday to ensure drivers across the state would maintain adequate access to fuel. Unfortunately, drivers across the state have seen excessively long lines at gas stations, price gouging, and perhaps the worst extreme in metropolitan areas like Charlotte and Raleigh — 70% of stations without gasoline.

Only 35% of North Carolina stations have gasoline according to Patrick De Haan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy. While the number may seem alarming, following these suggestions over the next few days should help ensure there’s enough gas in all of our tanks. 

  • Don’t rush to buy gas.

Gov. Cooper ensured that efforts will be made to make sure there’s an adequate amount of fuel and the Colonial Pipeline hack is slated to be resolved by the end of the week. There’s no need to rush to the gas station to fill up. Lots of people “panic-buying” gasoline only makes the problem worse. 

  • Wait until you’re low.

No, you don’t have to wait until the dial is on “E”, but there’s no need to rush to the gas station if your tank is more than half full. If you can help it, wait a couple days before filling your tank. 

  • Report price gouging.

If you see exorbitant prices at gas stations, you can report them here.

  • Don’t put gas in plastic bags.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has asked people not to fill plastic bags with gasoline. Yes, we’ve seen the videos of people doing this on social media. Only use containers approved for fuel and follow the instructions by the gas canister manufacturer for storing and transporting gasoline. NEVER pour gasoline over or near an open flame. 

  • Conserve the gas you have.

If you’ve got enough fuel in your tank, there are several ways to make it last a little longer. Keeping your tires inflated, combining short errands and carpooling as much as possible are a few easy ways to save fuel.