Tankers arrive in Richmond to fill up empty gas stations

Posted at 4:41 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 17:14:47-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The pumps remain shrouded by plastic bags at thousands of gas stations across the southeastern U.S. But Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline reported “substantial progress” in restarting the line. The company said gas was flowing again but it could take days before it's totally back to normal.

A tanker truck arrived at Village Exxon on Patterson Avenue and Three Chopt Road Thursday to deliver both a dose of normalcy and gallons of gas.

Village Exxon owner James McKenna said he was relieved when the tanker, which was supposed to show up Wednesday night, finally pulled in on Thursday.

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McKenna said he knew the cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline would impact his both his business and customers.

Industry experts said the gas shortage across Virginia was also due, in part, to drivers panic buying gas fearing the supply would run dry.

Supply chain management expert Dr. Jeff Smith urged drivers to use good judgment and remain patient, even after the pipeline reopens.

"Just because the pipeline has turned back on, that just means you get gasoline to the broad-scale pieces. So that's those core distribution zones, then it has to be put on the trucks and those trucks have to get to the gas stations, and then actually put them into those gas tanks," Smith said. reported 68% of North Carolina’s gas stations and 73% of stations in the nation's capital were still without fuel, along with half the stations in South Carolina and Georgia.

In Virginia, the run on gas prompted a warning Thursday that people should never siphon gasoline due to the risk of poisoning.

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