GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — As the Colonial Pipeline gets back on track many in the Upstate are wondering what that means for their local gas stations.
The answer? Fuel is on its way back to the Palmetto State.
“Today, this morning about 5:30 we found product moving in the Colonial Pipeline into the state of South Carolina,” Stewart Spinks, chairman and founder of Spinx Co., said.
He said the last week or so has been tough in the industry as they’ve worked through many of their fuel reserves.
“It’s going to be bumpy for the next few days because of distribution challenges as those tanks at the terminals fill up or try to fill up,” Spinks said.
But, he predicts, if everyone works together it will be over soon.
“It’s not going to last, like, weeks, this is going to pass in the next week or so,” Spinks said.
“It’s not going to happen overnight, it’s going to take some time before we see these gas stations get back up to full capacity,” Tiffany Wright, Director of Public Affairs for AAA Carolinas, said.
Wright said they’ve been working to help customers who have found themselves on empty.
“We have had an uptick in our calls about people running out of fuel and we’ve done the best that we can to get to those members out there who were stranded,” Wright said.
She says as gas stations get supply back people should remain calm and says many have been in a fight or flight mode due to the pandemic.
“We’ve been in this whole fear mode, this panic mode. Fear that I’m not going to have enough sanitizer, fear that I’m not going to have enough masks, fear I’m not going to have enough toilet paper,” Wright said.
Some suggestions for customers as the industry stabilizes over the next several days? Get out of the “fill up” mindset.
“My advice is simply buy what you need. You know what you need,” Spinks said.
And remember to stay patient at the pump.
“I just want everybody to practice some patience out there. We’re all in the same boat. We’re all trying to get gas, and we’ll all get through this,” Wright said.
AAA says demand went up three times over just two days in the Carolinas. Spinx estimates it will be receiving about a million gallons of gas during this coming weekend.