Long lines at the pump in some Florida cities were reminiscent of hurricane season this week, as some drivers appeared to panic over a potential gasoline shortage.
On Tuesday evening, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in response to the cyber attack that shut down the Colonial pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel to the country’s East Coast. In Florida, this primarily affects the Panhandle area, which gets much of its gasoline supply from Georgia.
As a result of the cyber attack, Colonial Pipeline was forced to temporarily halt all pipeline operations in order to contain and respond to the attack, the emergency order states.
The gasoline supply for Central and South Florida was not affected, but drivers in some areas have apparently created local gasoline shortages with panic buying.
Under the state of emergency, the governor suspended the registration requirements for commercial motor vehicles that enter the state to provide fuel, emergency services or supplies. He also waived the size and weight restrictions for divisible loads on vehicles supporting emergency relief efforts by transporting gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and other refined petroleum products in Florida.
A large portion of the Colonial Pipeline resumed operations on Monday and they anticipate resuming most regular operations by the end of the week, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.