Nashville gas stations see panic buying fueled by shortage fears after pipeline cyberattack

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UPDATE: Colonial Pipeline issued a statement Wednesday saying that it had initiated the restart of pipeline operations as of 5 p.m. ET. The company warned that it will take several days for the supply chain to return to normal.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Middle Tennessee drivers are fueling gas shortages after a cyberattack forced the largest petroleum pipeline in the nation to shut down.

“Usually, you see a couple cars and it will be empty spots,” said Jafar Mganga, a Nashville driver. “But then today I was just surprised that it’s too much cars. There is nowhere to park at all.”

Drivers across Metro Nashville went out of their way to wait in line for a full tank.

Tuesday evening, a Mount Juliet Speedway had no gas at all. In West Nashville, long lines at Costco were in full swing. Costco even limited buyer to “two legally approved portable containers per transaction.”

“I think it’s interesting,” said Alanna Peters, also a driver. “I’m not sure how much of it is possibly real or is it just something to boost the economy for a little while.”

White House officials say a cyberattack shut down the Colonial Pipeline Company, which fuels 45 percent of consumers on the east coast. Federal leaders say it could take days to restore the company’s operations, and gas prices could exceed $3 a gallon.

“That’s not good news,” said Mganga. “We need gas for us to go to our jobs or wherever we need to go. We need gas. And without gas we can’t drive.”

Many gas stations say they are experiencing gas shortages because of panic buying, rather than due to an actual shortage in supply.

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