Vehicles, part of a 20+ line, approach a Valero Fueling Station in Raleigh, NC.
|Date||Sep. 12, 2016 – Ongoing|
|Also known as||2016 Southeast Gas Shortage|
The 2016 Southeastern United States Gasoline Shortage is an ongoing phenomenon caused by the 2016 Colonial Pipeline Leak and the resultingpanic buying in which many gas stations across six states have entirely run out of gasoline fuel, causing price hikes, halts of services, and several declarations of states of emergency.
On Monday, September 12, 2016, a leak occurred in Shelby County, Alabama, spilling an estimated 350,000 US gallons of summer-grade gasoline, requiring a partial shutdown of the pipeline, and causing gas shortages in much of theSoutheastern United States. Six states are affected (Alabama, Georgia,Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia), with Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia declaring states of emergency. These declarations have eliminated certain size and weight restrictions on vehicles carrying gasoline, and the hours which they are allowed to deliver.
The Colonial Pipeline leak in Shelby County, Alabama was first detected on September 9. On September 13, Georgia governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency. On September 15, Alabama govenor Robert J. Bentley declared a state of emergency. The pipeline was shut down on September 16, and federal regulators began investigating the cause of the leak. North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, Tennessee govenor Bill Haslam and South Carolina governorNikki Haley all declared states of emergency, allowing fuel tankers to work longer hours to maintain the availability of gasoline. By September 17, the affected regions began experiencing gas shortages. Colonial has announced the construction of a bypass pipeline.