Gas Shortages, Long Lines Across Southeast After Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack

People in Southeastern states have taken to Twitter to share pictures and videos of long lines at gas stations, with some reportedly running out of gas entirely.

Colonial Pipeline reported on Friday that a ransomware cyberattack had affected some of its systems. The Georgia-based company, which delivers about 45 percent of the East Coast's fuel, then shut down operations as a precautionary measure.

On Monday, the company said it was in the process of restarting some of its network and insisted that there was no fuel shortage.

U.S. officials have also sought to alleviate concerns about price spikes. "Right now, there is not a supply shortage," Deputy National Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall said at a White House briefing on Monday.

But later on Monday night, the White House said in a statement that it was monitoring supply shortages in parts of the Southeast.

President Joe Biden has directed federal agencies to "bring their resources to bear to help alleviate shortages where they may occur," the statement added.

Meanwhile, motorists in Georgia and other states expressed frustration after struggling to find fuel in recent days.

Just finished up my run. The gas station in Camilla has been busy since I got home. Rural Georgia struggles if the cities run out of gas. Hoping more utilities take IT Security seriously (and more schools.) patch windows, update servers, educate about phishing. pic.twitter.com/ehBgrWp0yX

— Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) May 10, 2021

Gas stations around Atlanta are running out of gas and the ones that have it are hiking up the prices

— kentranada 🌕 (@kenyattathinks) May 10, 2021

One Twitter user said gas stations around the metro Atlanta are "running out of gas and the ones that have it are hiking up the prices."

Vicki Davis shared a video of a long line of vehicles outside a gas station in Camilla, Georgia.

"Rural Georgia struggles if the cities run out of gas," Davis wrote. "Hoping more utilities take IT Security seriously (and more schools.) patch windows, update servers, educate about phishing."

Twitter users also reported fuel shortages and lengthy lines at gas stations in other states, including North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

"Dumb luck for sure, but I got the very last tank of gas at Murphy Express on Hwy 161," Greg Suskin, a reporter in South Carolina, tweeted alongside a video of the empty gas station.

"That's no exaggeration either. An employee stuck the 'out of gas' sign on my pump while I was still filling my truck. The place quickly cleared out."

Dumb luck for sure, but I got the very last tank of gas at Murphy Express on Hwy 161. That’s no exaggeration either. An employee stuck the “out of gas” sign on my pump while I was still filling my truck. The place quickly cleared out. pic.twitter.com/RYYUUO4l06

— Greg Suskin (@GSuskinWSOC9) May 11, 2021

Another Twitter user shared a video of vehicles lining up for gas in North Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

"Most stations are out of gas," they wrote. "Is this our new America?"

One Twitter user reported gas stations running out of fuel and lines "around the building" in Plymouth, North Carolina.

Vehicles were also waiting outside a Gas N Go near Chattanooga, Tennessee. "Most gas stations are sold out of gas," Lisa Skinner Escalante wrote.

Gas lines in N Myrtle Beach, most stations are out of gas. Is this our new America? pic.twitter.com/UOs0luLn22

— Kim S (@KSS141) May 11, 2021

Literally backed up to the street gas n go hwy 58 Chattanooga tn ..said most gas stations are sold out of gas ⛽ pic.twitter.com/49gf2HNXrU

— Lisa Skinner Escalante (@Lisa_skinnypig) May 10, 2021

The American Automobile Association said the East Coast from Georgia into Delaware as well as Mississippi and Tennessee are likely to experience limited fuel and price increases in the coming days, predicting prices could rise between three and seven cents per gallon this week.

The FBI has assigned blame for the cyberattack to a criminal syndicate named DarkSide.

Anne Neuberger, the Deputy National Security Adviser for cyber and emerging technology, said at a White House briefing that the FBI has been investigating the group since October.

She said the group's business model involves demanding ransom payments from victims and then splitting the proceeds with the ransomware developers.

"It's a new and very troubling variant," she said.

Biden said on Monday that there was no evidence that Russia was involved in the cyberattack, but said there is evidence that "the actors, ransomware, is in Russia."

He added: "They have some responsibility to deal with this."

Colonia Pipeline's fuel holding tanks
Fuel holding tanks are seen at Colonial Pipeline's Linden Junction Tank Farm on May 10, 2021 in Woodbridge, New Jersey. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images