Panic buying leads to gas shortages

There were no lines at the Algood Speedway Tuesday afternoon after panic buyers ran the station out of gasoline around 2 p.m. A new tanker was expected to arrive to replenish their supply by 6 p.m. Tuesday evening. (Photo: UCBJ)

By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor

ALGOOD – Panic buying by people fearing a gas shortage is resulting in temporary gas shortages at many gas stations across the area, with some completely selling out of gasoline, and gas lines getting longer as the distance grows from the I-40 Interstate corridor. 

Algood Speedway has been without gasoline since around 2 p.m. Tuesday but anticipated receiving a tanker around 5:30 or 6 p.m. This was the first time that the station had run out of gasoline since the Colonial Pipeline was shut down last Friday by hackers. 

Customers filling large tanks in preparation for gas shortages contributed to the shortages felt Tuesday in the Algood area.

Speedway General Manager Amanda Bryant said this it is reminiscent of the struggle to buy kerosine during the winter storms of February when they had lines to purchase it and would have frequent outages in supply. 

Bryant said that they did not have a supply issue right now.

“Our terminal is full is what they have told us,” said Bryant. “The only reason we have a shortage right now is because of panic buying. We are selling anywhere from 1,000-1,500 gallons per hour.”

They also reported that a contributor to the gas shortage was people filling up large tanks in anticipation of any shortages. One purchase today was $600 just from customers filling a portable tank.

McGuggin’s Shell, also in Algood, had plenty of gasoline today, but reported that they had ran out of everything except premium on Monday before they were resupplied.

Colonial Pipeline has been shut down since Friday because of a ransomware attack by a group of Russian cyber criminals who calls themselves DarkSide.

A media statement released late Tuesday afternoon by the Colonial Pipeline stated that the “Colonial Pipeline continues to make forward progress in our around-the-clock efforts to return our system to service, with additional laterals operating manually to deliver existing inventories to markets along the pipeline.”

The pipeline which anticipates reopening later this week stated that they had taken delivery of an additional 2 million barrels (~84 million gallons) from refineries for deployment upon its restart.

Michelle Price is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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