Mississippi gas supplies fluctuate in metro-area due to ‘panic buying’

Published: May. 11, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - You may have noticed long lines at your local gas station Tuesday.

News that the cyber attack on the Colonial Fuel Pipeline could cause gas shortages has caused a run on gas supplies. Throughout the metro there have been lines at pumps everywhere you go.

State officials say the supplies are good but won’t be if people panic.

Gas supplies varied everywhere you went. Some were full while others like the Costco fueling station were turning cars away until they could fill their tanks.

Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gibson said, “A lot of people in Mississippi have gone out and began to do exactly what happened here in the in the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020. going out and bought everything on the shelves. And so today you may see some gasoline stations or fueling stations without gasoline like I saw this morning. That is not due to the Colonial Pipeline shut down, that is due to panic buying.”

Gipson said other fuel suppliers are ramping up production to fill the gap while the Colonial Pipeline is offline. The run on gas started Monday evening.

At the Raceway in Richland, only premium gas is on tap. Store Manager Wilma Livingston said, “Everybody’s filling up and everybody’s using premium because I can’t get anything else right now.”

Customers told me they’re filling up so they’re not left on an empty tank themselves.

Darrien Davis said, “I just feel like I need to be able to move around, get back-and-forth to work safely in case we do have a shortage in gas. That’s my concern is getting back-and-forth to work.”

The run on gas also causing prices to creep up.

Gipson said he learned that Colonial hopes to have their pipeline operational by weeks end. He’s optimistic fuel supplies in the state are plentiful as long as long lines don’t continue.

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