Law-enforcement agencies along the Outer Banks are setting up orange cones and directing traffic at gas stations today as cars continue to line up, and sometimes impede traffic, in often fruitless attempts to fill the tank.
“We are all aware of the current gas shortage in our area,” Nags Head police said in a Facebook post this morning. “Please be considerate and keep traffic flowing in and through the Town of Nags Head and across the Outer Banks.”
Police in Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills say to keep these things in mind if you absolutely have to get gas:
- Do not stop your vehicle on the highway. Please pull off on the side of the road to keep the flow of traffic moving
- Do not block intersections or private driveways
- Don’t leave vehicles (attended or not) upon the main traveled portion of any highway or street where they create or constitute a traffic hazard or obstructs the movement of emergency vehicles OR the flow of traffic is prohibited
Experts say panic-buying is causing the current gas shortage following a weekend cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies about 45 percent of the motor fuel on the East Coast. Gas is still being distributed manually while the system is down, but unwarranted panic buying is causing spot shortages.
Federal and state agencies have put anti-price gouging and other measures in place to help keep the gas flowing, but officials are urging those who don’t need gas to just wait. The Colonial Pipeline hopes to have everything back online in the next few days.
“Please don’t buy gas unless you’re low and report any cases of price gouging. We will continue our efforts to help make sure there is an adequate supply of fuel,” Gov. Roy Cooper said this morning.
To report price gouging in North Carolina, call 877-5-NOSCAM or visit NCDOJ.gov.