banner

Company expects to restart pipeline Wednesday after leak


Drivers may have to wait a few more weeks to see gas prices dip in the wake of a leak at an Alabama pipeline

The U.S. Department of Transportation ordered the company responsible, Alpharetta-based Colonial Pipeline, to take corrective action before the fuel starts flowing again.

According to the American Automobile Association, the national average for a gallon of gas was $2.21 on Monday, up three cents from a week ago.

Bentley said Monday that the price sometimes changes that much overnight.

Supplies of gasoline are on the way or have already arrived at terminal locations across the Southeast, including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Colonial Pipeline detected the leak September 9 along a line that carries more than a million gallons a day between Houston and New Jersey.

In Gainesville, the cheapest price was $2.15 at the Country Cupboard at Price and Cool Springs roads in North Hall, according to GasBuddy. It’s unclear when the spill actually began.

The affected Colonial Pipeline runs from Houston to New Jersey.

While lines had not yet formed at Murphy USA in Morehead City around that time, signs were posted notifying customers they were out of regular grade fuel.

Governor Robert Bentley toured the incident command center for the Colonial Pipeline gasoline spill that has been blamed for gasoline shortages and gas price increases in the South.

“Consumers are our eyes and ears on the ground and we want to know if you spot potential gas price gouging”, state Attorney General Roy Cooper said. In the last week, gas prices in Georgia went up an average of 23 cents per gallon, while Tennessee (14 cents), SC (13 cents) and North Caroline (12 cents) are also feeling the effects. “This includes trucking and barging fuel from other markets and refineries”, the company said in Monday’s statement.

“Oh yeah, I’ve noticed that the prices have just gone up, I mean, through the roof!” said Tom Wargo at a gas station northeast of Atlanta.

As suppliers try to find other ways to get fuel to service stations, temporary outages are to be expected. As ABC11’s Diane Wilson reports, often a station with a much lower price is right around the corner.

“My wife just called me and told I better top off my tank before the prices go up”, he said.

AAA reports Tuesday that Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia also saw prices climb since Monday.

“This Executive Order will enable Virginia to prevent any potential disruption to gasoline supplies as a result of the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline”, Gov. McAuliffe said Saturday in a prepared statement. However, there’s been some reports of price gouging.

Posey said DeKalb’s prices will most likely increase but should remain stable.