After a six-day outage, the top U.S. fuel pipeline on Thursday moved some of the first millions of gallons of motor fuels after a crippling cyberattack led to fuel shortages across East Coast states.
The Colonial Pipeline, which carries 100 million gallons per day of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, said on Thursday it had begun supplying some fuel to most regions along its 5,500 mile (8,850 km) route. It will expand to areas including Baltimore by mid-day, it said.
The pipeline resumed computer-controlled pumping late Wednesday after adding safety measures.
The shutdown caused gasoline shortages and emergency declarations from Virginia to Florida, led two refineries to curb production, and had airlines reshuffling some refueling operations.
The pipeline’s restart should bring supplies to some hard-hit areas as soon as Thursday, said U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. She added that the fuel market should return to normal by the end of the weekend.
“Relief is coming,” added Jeanette McGee, a spokeswoman for motor travel group AAA.
Motorists’ tempers frayed as panic buying led stations to run out even where supplies were available. On Thursday about 70% of gas stations in North Carolina were without fuel, while around 50% of stations in Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia had outages, tracking firm GasBuddy said.
The average national gasoline price rose above $3.00 a gallon, the highest since October 2014, the American Automobile Association said, and prices in some areas…