71 Percent of Charlotte Area Gas Stations out of Fuel; Police Warn of ‘Gas Crisis’

May 12, 2021 Updated: May 12, 2021

About 71 percent of gas stations in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area are completely out of gas, as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police described the situation as a “gas crisis” and requested that nonessential travel be avoided.

Patrick De Haan, a top analyst for GasBuddy, said that 78 percent of gas stations in the Greenville area have no gas, and 72 percent of Raleigh-Durham stations, 71 percent of Charlotte-area stations, 69 percent of stations around Greenville, and 65 percent of Norfolk-area stations are out of gas.

Authorities with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), describing the situation as a “gas crisis” on May 12, told local media that people should limit nonessential travel, check on neighbors, and shouldn’t hoard fuel.

“We are going to get through this,” CMPD Capt. Brad Koch told WBTV. “Similar to when we have severe weather and we lose a lot of bread and milk at stores.”

It comes after a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline system that transports fuel from the Gulf Coast to the northeastern United States. According to an update from the firm on May 11, it’s still working to restart the pipeline.

Colonial wrote that it’s continuing to “make progress” on its efforts to return the pipeline to service, saying it’s working to make deliveries in “Atlanta, Ga., Belton and Spartanburg, S.C., Charlotte and Greensboro, N.C., Baltimore, Md., and Woodbury and Linden, N.J.”

Meanwhile, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, issued a state of emergency over potential fuel shortages, saying it’s designed to prepare the state for fuel supply issues and ensure drivers can have access to gas or diesel.

De Haan told The Epoch Times that during fuel shortages, drivers see other drivers sitting in long lines and join them.

“Self-fulfilling prophecy—people see other people, they read about it, and everyone’s freaking out,” he said. “Whereas smaller communities, they may not be on top of it. They’re apparently driving around to/from work, they see gas lines and they think, ‘Oh man, I better get it, too.’”

Earlier this week, the FBI confirmed that a cybercriminal gang called DarkSide was behind the ransomware attack. DarkSide, which is reportedly based in Russia, claims it’s apolitical and only wants to make money.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.