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Gas stations across Huntsville selling out of gas; Gov. Ivey pleads people to stop panic buying

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 10:32 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - If you desperately needed gas Tuesday, you may have found yourself waiting in long lines.

We found multiple gas stations in Huntsville with bags on the pumps Tuesday.
We found multiple gas stations in Huntsville with bags on the pumps Tuesday.(WAFF)

This is the trickle-down effect from this weekend’s Colonial Pipeline cyber cyber-attack that caused the whole pipeline from Texas to the Eastern U.S. to close.

This is causing panic-buying around the U.S., and Governor Ivey is chiming in. She’s urging you not to panic and use your judgment and adds there is no gas shortage at this time.

But based on what we found Tuesday, that is certainly happening.

WAFF 48 found three gas stations in Huntsville that were sold out, and gas station attendants tell us they’re not sure when the next delivery truck is coming.

“Our fuel pumps have not stopped. I got here at 2 o’clock and they’ve been full ever since,” Marathon gas station employee Tim Simmons said.

“We have gone through over 23,00 gallons today. Our normal average day we go through about 1,200 gallons. I’m going to have to shut my pumps off,” Simmons added.

And that’s exactly what happened about an hour after our interview. We saw the same scene at the Exxon station on Governor’s Drive.

“Well, my friend called me just a little bit ago and said we should go top of our gas tanks. I thought I was in luck but no, all the pumps had a paper bag around them,” Meg Hereford said.

So what’s the deal?

Calhoun Community College Economics Professor Derek Berry says panic buying spreads.

“Similar to what we see during snowstorms, is people go to buy milk and bread even if they’re not in the immediate need of milk and bread. Even if you say there is plenty of gasoline, there is plenty of milk and bread, if enough other people start behaving that way then suddenly there Is a shortage.,” Berry explained.

The associate dean of the business school at UAH says strengthening cybersecurity systems is what the main takeaway should be.

“A lot of people don’t want to do that because it’s expensive, it’s difficult, it’s annoying. You know you have to have that 2-factor authentication where you need your form to log into everything. But really that annoyance is a small price to pay for securing systems,” Wafa Orman said.

Governor Ivey urges people to only fill up if they need to, and do not fill up multiple containers.

The Biden administration is working with multiple federal agencies including the FBI and Department of Energy to make sure fuel keeps flowing.

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