UPDATE: No gas available at nearly half of metro Atlanta’s stations

Gasoline tankers pass by the Colonial Pipeline storage tanks in Austell, Ga., on Monday, May 10, 2021, as they enter the Marathon Powder Springs Terminal.  The pipeline is up and running again, but getting fuel to stations will take as much as a week. (John Spink/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

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Gasoline tankers pass by the Colonial Pipeline storage tanks in Austell, Ga., on Monday, May 10, 2021, as they enter the Marathon Powder Springs Terminal. The pipeline is up and running again, but getting fuel to stations will take as much as a week. (John Spink/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Number of stations with gas slowly climbs

Roughly half of the gas stations in metro Atlanta were dry Monday, but that’s an improvement over last week as the Colonial Pipeline continues to recover from a cyberattack.

Alpharetta-based Colonial Pipeline is still ramping up from a shutdown forced by a ransomware attack that left 1 out of 4 gas stations in the Atlanta area with gas. It might take as long as a week to get back to normal, said GasBuddy analyst Allison Mac.

Monday afternoon in Cobb County, Joseph Henry stopped at a Marathon station on Cobb Parkway near I-285 that had regular unleaded gas only.

“I was on empty,” Henry said. “Last week was something terrible.”

Half a mile away on Spring Road, the QuikTrip had gas. “Everything seems like it’s getting back to normal,” he said.

RaceTrac reported that 85% of its stores in Georgia had fuel around 5 p.m. Monday.

AAA says that the average price per gallon in the state was $2.96, as we near the Memorial Day weekend, the kickoff of the summer travel season.

“Many Americans are so eager to travel, we don’t expect higher gas prices to interfere with their plans,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman for the auto club. “We typically find when pump prices increase, travelers look for more free activities or eat out less while on vacation, but still take their planned trips.”

AAA expects more than 37 million people to travel 50 miles or more between May 27 and May 31. That’s a 60% increase from last year, when only 23 million traveled, the lowest on record since AAA began recording the number in 2000. The COVID-19 crisis was to blame.

In Georgia, more than 1 million residents are expected to take a trip during the holiday weekend, AAA says. That’s a 62% increase from last year.

The Colonial Pipeline runs from East Texas along the Gulf states and up the Atlantic Seaboard to New Jersey — typically carrying nearly half of the East Coast’s fuel.

Terence Onyewuenyi’s gas tank was nearly empty before he found gas at the QuikTrip on Spring Road in Cobb County.

He visited three gas stations Saturday with no luck, but noticed the QuikTrip had gas when he passed by it Monday morning. He didn’t stop because he was on his way to his first day on a new job at the nearby Home Depot headquarters.

“I was like, well, I’ll just have to come by on my lunch break,” he said. He was glad to see the station had not run out.

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