Gas shortages linger in metro Atlanta as recovery stalls

The Chevron Doraville Terminal in DeKalb County.  (John Spink / john.spink@ajc.com)
The Chevron Doraville Terminal in DeKalb County. (John Spink / john.spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Nearly two weeks after the restart of Colonial Pipeline’s operations, about one-third of the gas stations in metro Atlanta were still without fuel Tuesday afternoon, according to a company that tracks the industry.

Improvement in the flow of gas from the Gulf Coast has stalled, and while gasoline is available, motorists cannot assume that their favorite or most convenient stations will have any, according to Allison Mac, spokeswoman for the crowdsourcing app GasBuddy.com.

“Basically no change compared to yesterday,” she said.

The impact for the state overall was somewhat less severe: about 26% of the 6,374 stations were without fuel Tuesday, she said.

The Alpharetta-based company, which pumps much of the Southeast’s gasoline from refineries along the Gulf Coast, had been unable to operate its system for nearly a week after hackers shut it down. To get the pipeline flowing again, Colonial paid a $4.4 million ransom to the hackers.

QuikTrip has enough fuel for its 144 metro Atlanta outlets, said Aisha Jefferson-Smith, company spokeswoman. “QuikTrip is resupplied and OK on fuel supply.”

However, Felix Turner, a spokesman for Kroger, said the availability of gas depends on fuel grade.

The grocery chain has 110 fuel centers in metro Atlanta and all currently have regular grade gas, he said. “Diesel and premium grades have been a bit slower to recover. We expect supplies of diesel and premium to improve over the weekend.”

However, demand is also likely to spike this weekend, a traditional time for hitting the road as Memorial Day gives many Americans an extra day off.

More than 1 million Georgians will likely travel this weekend, up 62% from last year, according to Montrae Waiters, AAA spokeswoman. “With the increase in travel demand, gas prices are going to be expensive no matter where you fill up, so plan ahead.”

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