WILLIAMSBURG — The City of Williamsburg has issued a statement regarding the current fuel shortage.
“With the news that Colonial Pipeline temporarily halted pipeline operations due to a ransomware attack, gas stations throughout Virginia, including the City of Williamsburg, have seen a significant uptick in fuel demand.
Please only fill up your vehicle’s gas tank when necessary. AAA recommends filling up when your car hits a quarter of a tank; filling up more often at a time when supply is already being disrupted could cause spot shortages at gas stations. Panic buying gas increases the likelihood of a prolonged fuel shortage.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) encourages Virginia residents to use the GasBuddy app on your smartphone to track gas availability and pricing. Based on conditions at 4:45 p.m., gas availability in the Greater Williamsburg area is low to moderate depending on fuel grade. Though fuel availability is changing rapidly, supply and delivery is ongoing, according to VDEM. The Commonwealth is augmenting the availability of fuel by importing through the Port of Virginia, commercial railroads, and interstate trucking.
City services, including emergency, public safety, trash, and recycling services, are not affected at this time. Williamsburg Area Transit Authority (WATA) does not anticipate any disruption to service.
As the supplier of 45% of the fuel for the East Coast, Colonial Pipeline is the primary fuel source for many Virginia retailers. Colonial is one of three interstate pipelines that operate within Virginia.
Colonial has been gradually restoring service to segments of its pipeline. The entire pipeline is expected to be restarted by the end of the week; however, a full restart does not instantaneously return the pipeline to normal operations. Current estimates for normal fuel availability vary from three days to three weeks.
Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, May 11, which allows state agencies to issue fuel transportation waivers as required by the state to help increase the supply of gasoline. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also issued a temporary transportation waiver.
During this time, please adhere to the following guidelines:
- Limit non-essential travel.
- Only refill fuel when necessary.
- Do not hoard fuel.
- When transporting fuel, use appropriate containers, as approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
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