Some gas shortages reported in Virginia

Posted at 12:37 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 12:37:19-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Gas prices are expected to go up this week after the Colonial Pipeline, which connects Texas to New York, had to be shutdown due to a leak in Alabama.

"We are starting to see some shortages in the southern part of Virginia," AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Martha Meade said.

Meade said there was no reason to panic and fill gas tanks with fuel.

Over the weekend, gas prices jumped an average of 5 cents a gallon around Richmond.

"Any time there's a disruption in transporting gasoline, things can happen. It's too early to know what the long term impact will be," Meade said. "We would expect them to go up maybe 20 cents. That's what we're seeing in the moment."

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Friday which allows the state to waive certain restrictions and allow more trucks to transport gas because the fuel cannot get here through the pipeline.

In North Carolina, the Department of Public Safety said the state had "spotty" shortages. Similar problems were reported in parts of Tennessee. And authorities in South Carolina said they had heard of "isolated cases" of gas stations running out of fuel.

The problems so far don't appear severe.

Authorities in Tennessee and South Carolina said there have been no widespread fuel shortages.

A section of the pipeline has been closed since Sept. 9 after a spill of roughly 250,000 gallons was discovered.

The pipeline provides gasoline for an estimated 50 million people on the East Coast each day, according to company estimates. The cause of the leak has yet to be determined.

The closure has set off an industry-wide scramble as suppliers seek alternative ways to transport gasoline to the East Coast.

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