Drivers Fight at Gas Stations as Fuel Shortage Persists

"Adirondacks Abandoned Gas Station 2" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Tracy Rolling

As fuel shortages come to plague the East Coast after the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline last week, drivers are fighting at gas stations as fuel shortages persist.

Video footage of a man and a woman fighting at a gas station in North Carolina was circulated on social media platforms as fuel shortages continue to plague the East Coast. 

The incident happened on Tuesday at a Marathon gas station. The witness who filmed the incident told WRAL that a woman in a white car tried to cut the line of vehicles that are waiting to fuel up. When no one was letting her in, the woman drove into the side of an SUV that was waiting in line. 

Then a few minutes later, the woman went outside of her vehicle spitting at the driver of the SUV. The man then gets out of his car, walks over to the woman and a brawl ensues. The video footage contains graphic language however, no immediate reports of arrests were made. 

The Colonial Pipeline system that was hacked transports over 100 million gallons of diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, and heating oil every day, or roughly 45% of the fuel that are being used on the Eastern Seabord. It spans up to 5,500 miles between the New York metro area and the Gulf Coast.

On Monday, Colonial Pipeline Co. stated that it is aiming to substantially restore the system by the end of the week. 

On Monday, Patrick De Haan, senior petroleum analyst noted that the gasoline demand soared all over the country. 

In the East Coast, for instance, a 32.5% increase in demand was reported on Monday compared to the previous week, this was followed by the 16.2% increase in the Midwest, 13.1% increase in the Gulf Coast, 6.6% increase at the Rocky Mountain region, and 8.4% increase at the West Coast.

Gas stations from Florida to Virginia began running dry and prices at the pump rose on Tuesday, as the shutdown of the biggest U.S. fuel pipeline by hackers extended into the fifth day and sparked panic buying by motorists.

Within next week, the national average for gas prices is also predicted to hit $3 per gallon. This would make for the highest level of price since the year 2014. 

However, research companies attribute the increase to the economic movement associated with the Coronavirus pandemic rather than the impact of the fuel supply disruption.