HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A recent survey of constituents in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District revealed most respondents were impacted by the Colonial Pipeline attack.
Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, was hit by a cyberattack on May 7.
The hacking led to panic buying and many gas stations on the East Coast ran out of gasoline.
Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s office launched a survey last Friday to gauge how much the attack directly impacted local families, businesses, and seniors.
The Henrico Democrat received more than 4,000 submissions. 63% said they were impacted while 37% said they were not impacted by the hacking.
The pipeline shutdown lasted 11 days.
“I’m focused on how do we address this and ensure this doesn’t happen again,” Spanberger explained. “I wanted to make sure that that response was centered in the challenging experiences that people in our community experienced.”
According to the Washington Post, “the Transportation Security Administration, a DHS unit, will issue a security directive this week requiring pipeline companies to report cyber incidents to federal authorities, senior DHS officials said.”
In the initial days, it was unclear when supply would be restored. Families wanted to ensure they would be able to get to where they needed to go and there was great concern, Spanberger stated.
“It was a scary time for a lot of people,” she said.
Spanberger’s office shared the following quotes from constituents about the impact the attack had on their lives.
“I was forced to cancel a business trip due lack of gasoline in North Carolina last weekend.” — Chesterfield County
“Had to use gasoline I bought for my yard equipment to keep one vehicle running until area gas stations opened back up about 4 days later.”
“We were preparing to go to NC for our grandson's high school graduation but were afraid to be on the road with the gas shortage.”
“I only had 0.56 liters of gas left in my car, or just enough to drive from my house to a gas station. So I continued to telework. I was out of food, but did not panic. I walked about 3 miles to the Grocery store and walked back another 3 miles.”
“Living in a Rural area, most gas stations are smaller and do not get deliveries as fast as larger companies in urban areas. There were still some stations that did not have gas here for almost a week after the pipeline was resolved.”
“I was forced to cancel a business trip due lack of gasoline in North Carolina last weekend.”
“My daughter is a teacher in Chesterfield. She was caught short with a nearly-empty tank of gas with 3 days to go in the school week. I prepared to turn my car over for her use after she had tried and failed for 2 days to get gas. We were freaked out!”
“As an employee of an essential job and having to travel over 50 miles to work. I was very worried with trying to find gas with everyone panic buying. I was lucky enough to find a gas station the just received a drop off so I could make it to work.”