Colonial Pipeline: USDOT plans work-around until service is restored

Posted at 7:07 AM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 08:07:05-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is stepping in following the cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline.

USDOT says previous disaster declarations issued in the past 120 days give flexibility to impacted states like Tennessee, permitting trucks transporting overweight loads of gasoline and other fuels on interstates.

But each state has to follow its own procedures in issuing those permits to allow those trucks to come in. Officials hope to have the pipeline pumping again by the end of the week but expect prices to soar until that happens.

For example, some gas stations in Hermitage were up 20 cents from Tuesday. While that is bad, it can get worse if consumers decide to hoard gasoline. Think of early pandemic when people hoarded toilet paper.

Locally, we know that Nashville International Airport gets its fuel supply from this pipeline, but BNA officials say while no flights have been impacted yet, that could change if the pipeline isn’t restored and tankers aren't timely. However, we aren’t there yet.

Until the pipeline reopens, suppliers are hoping to transport gas from other areas in the country. That process may take longer than usual too, though, due to a truck driver shortage.

“It will take some time to move that gasoline where it needs to be. So, it’s not out of question for some of our local gas stations to be out of gasoline for a couple of days or a number of days,” said Megan Cooper, spokesperson for AAA.

So as you hit the road, keep in mind, only take your share of gas when you need it.

Read more: AAA Tennessee: Get the gasoline you need but don't hoard, following Colonial Pipeline stoppage