Several York County gas stations have run dry, and more are facing higher volumes of customers filling up in the face of a pipeline disruption that has affected much of the East Coast.
Local stations are hoping and waiting for new deliveries of gas to satisfy a renewed rush of customers after a section of a major pipeline in Alabama was found to be leaking at least 336,000 gallons of gasoline.
The pipeline serves an estimated 50 million people on the East Coast. The loss of gas has resulted in price rises from five to 12 cents per gallon throughout the Southeast.
Haley Thomas, a cashier at the Marathon station ($2.19 per gallon for unleaded) on U.S. 321 in York, said her station has been overrun with customers.
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Thomas said her station ran out of gas Sunday night, received a new shipment early Monday morning and was already close to running out by 11 a.m.
“We’ve been running around like chickens with no heads for the past three days,” Thomas said. “They fill up cars, gas cans –anything they can fill up.”
An employee with the BP station ($2.17 per gallon for unleaded) on Carolina Place Drive in Fort Mill said their station was the only one with gasoline along S.C. 160.
The employee, who did not give her name, said the store has been packed and its phone lines jammed. The station has had two gas deliveries on Monday, she said, and won’t receive another until it runs out.
“We’re just hoping to make it through,” she said.
Customers have been moving from one station to the next in order to fill up, according to one assistant store manager.
Nicole Anderson, with Murphy Express on S.C. 274 ($2.09 per gallon for unleaded) in Lake Wylie, said the station ran out of unleaded gas on Saturday afternoon and ran dry of diesel Sunday night. She said the station had not been given an estimate on when a new delivery will arrive.
“We haven’t seen a fuel truck since Friday,” Anderson said. “From what I’ve been hearing in driving around, our competitors that have gas have been lined up.”
The pipeline, owned by Colonial Pipeline, is currently being repaired. Colonial has said it expects to resume shipments of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from Texas and Louisiana refineries to a number of southeastern states sometime this week.
In a statement early Monday, Colonial Pipeline said supplies of gasoline have either been delivered or are on their way to terminal locations in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
Fuel supplies in those five states were threatened by the spill, and the U.S. Department of Transportation ordered Colonial to take corrective action.
The Alpharetta, Georgia-based company has two main lines. The company said Monday that it is shipping “significant volumes” on the second of the two lines to mitigate the impact of the interruption on the other line.
AAA Carolinas reported that South Carolina’s average price of gasoline has increased to $2.04, up from last week’s average of $1.91.
“We want to remind motorists that this issue is temporary and to continue normal habits at the pump,” said Tiffany Wright, spokeswoman for the auto club.
Other gas stations that volunteered their unleaded gas prices included: Exxon on Alexander Love Highway in York, $1.99; Speedway on South Anderson Road in Rock Hill, $2.09; QuikTrip on U.S. 21 in Fort Mill, $2.09; Shell on Celanese Road in Rock Hill, $2.19.
The Associated Press contributed.