ATLANTA — A run on gasoline following a ransomware attack on a major East Coast oil pipeline began in full on Tuesday and continued into Wednesday, reportedly leaving a solid majority of metro Atlanta gas stations without any fuel.
Patrick De Haan, an analyst with the industry tracking firm GasBuddy, reported 71% of metro Atlanta stations were without gas Wednesday night.
He noted in a separate tweet what state outages were climbing slightly, which was not unexpected. In Georgia, he said 49% were out of gas.
However, the state's figure is significantly lower than the 71% reported in North Carolina.
A flood of traffic to the GasBuddy website caused it to crash early Wednesday, but before that its gas tracker tool showed at least some stations around Atlanta had gone green overnight thanks to restocking efforts.
As the run on gas began to really take hold on Tuesday, 11Alive's Chenue Her reported some stations simply began to close.
One station manager, Raton Das, told Chenue that he bagged up the pumps because his gasoline delivery didn't show up. He had no idea when his pumps would be restocked.
“This is the first time this is happening to my gas station in Atlanta,” he said. “The store’s open because I have to sell groceries but that’s all I’m doing right now. I cannot close my store because I have to pay my rent.”
Wednesday evening, Colonial Pipeline said it restarted its operations, but it could take some time before the product delivery supply chain returns to normal. That means a few markets could experience temporary interruptions.
Experts are cautioning that there's no need for drivers to rush the pumps for people who have already have enough gas in their cars to get through a few days.