Colonial Pipeline restarts gas delivery to Norfolk market; All East Coast markets expected to have service by noon

Posted at 9:53 AM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 21:13:11-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The Colonial Pipeline company posted an update stating all of their markets should receive product by mid-day Thursday after the cyberattack that happened last week.

They added that on the map below, all green lines indicate markets that have already become operational, meaning product delivery has commenced and Norfolk/Richmond are a green line.

Colonial Pipeline said the blue lines indicate markets that should be operational by mid-day and those are more western/northern areas.

Colonial added, "This would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of the many Colonial team members across the pipeline who worked safely and tirelessly through the night to get our lines up and running. We are grateful for their dedicated service and professionalism during these extraordinary times."

Map posted on Thursday morning

After days of long lines at the pump and panic-buying leaving gas stations empty, many people are breathing a sigh of relief as fuel supplies flow through the region.

Tankers were filing out from the Colonial Pipeline facility in Chesapeake to resupply gas stations drained dry this week.

Drivers were getting in and out quickly from gas stations that had long lines the day before.

"I was pretty excited to actually have gas in my car, not having to use someone else’s car," said Tom Pittman.

Pittman filled up without having to wait at an Exxon located on Boush Street in Norfolk. He says he tried multiple times this week, but gas stations ran out of gas as he was waiting in long lines.

The Exxon only had regular, but a BP gas station about a mile away had all three grades of gas. However, the Citgo down the street was sold out of everything.

"To come here this morning, they were out and then to get back this afternoon and to see the same thing is a little frustrating," said James Harris.

On Tuesday, AAA Tidewater also sent an update stating that gas prices have increased 17 cents since last week. The average current price as of Thursday morning is $2.91.

AAA reports, from the time the pipeline was taken offline on Friday until Thursday morning, the national gas price average increased six cents. That pushed the average to $3 per gallon this week, which was the highest average since October 2014.

The national average is likely to continue to see fluctuation in the coming days, and states where prices have spiked will see some relief as the pipeline becomes fully operational, AAA said.

AAA reports prices in Hampton Roads are up 14 cents just since Monday, but the pipeline issue is only partly to blame. AAA says prices may fall a few cents over the next week but not by much as the start of the summer travel season gets going.

"I would expect to see it come down just, you know, a few pennies, but we're not going to get down to that $2.50 - $2.25 that we were seeing during the pandemic," said Director of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia Holly Dalby.

For motorists traveling through the south and southeast this weekend, AAA offers these tips:

If you are planning to travel this weekend throughout the south/southeast coast:

  • If you own more than one car, use the most fuel-efficient model.
  • Plan ahead – bring groceries and other necessities with you to reduce making trips while you’re at your destination.
  • Fill up before getting to your destination. Use the AAA Mobile app to locate gas stations and call ahead to see if they have fuel.
  • Avoid driving during high-traffic times of day.
  • Pack lightly. Remove unnecessary and bulky items from your car and don’t use your roof rack or a special cargo carrier. It takes more fuel to accelerate a heavier car, and the reduction in fuel economy is greater for small cars than larger models.
  • Don’t travel with a container carrying extra fuel in your car.

If you’re already on the road and will be traveling throughout the south/southeast coast:

  • Use the AAA Mobile app to locate gas stations and call ahead to see if they have fuel.
  • Have a Plan B in case you need to stay longer or can only make it part of the way home (find a stopping point). Use the AAA Mobile app to find hotels along your route and call ahead to check availability.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning. Even at highway speeds, open windows have less effect on fuel economy than the engine power required to operate the air conditioning compressor.
  • In hot weather, park in the shade or use a windshield sunscreen to lessen heat buildup inside the car. This reduces the need for air conditioning (and thus fuel) to cool down the car.

Related: How to report gas price gouging if you see it