RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – A fear that gasoline prices may go up or not be available had many drivers heading to the pumps in droves to fuel up on Tuesday. However, Colonial Pipeline only supplies about 30 percent of the gasoline in Mississippi. Many people across the metro were not aware of that, so when they all rushed to the pumps at once, it created a second shortage.
Some drivers found themselves going to multiple gas stations to avoid waiting in long lines or getting to a pump out of fuel.
“I went to Costco yesterday, and there were like 49 cars there before I knew there was a shortage,” Preston O’Neal said. “Then I went back today, and they were out of fuel.”
“I tried to go to Costco and Love’s, but this is the only place I found that had some,” Audrey Cooper of Yazoo City added. “I just needed enough to get home. I ran down to almost empty.”
Several other gasoline pipeline companies supply the Jackson-metro area, but many drivers weren’t aware and flocked to the pumps all at once, draining the station’s tank.
“It just reminds me of the myths we needed all that paper towels and toilet paper we went through about a year ago,” David Vearrier said waiting in line at Costco.
During the afternoon, the Costco in Ridgeland had to close until a tanker could come in and fill up the station tanks. Lines stretched all across the parking lot.
“I really don’t need gas, but I thought I might as well get it because everyone else is getting it,” Costco member Casey Pearce stated. “But didn’t feel like waiting any longer.”
This man-made shortage can be stopped if people understand most stations across Mississippi are not impacted and conserve their gas as usual. For some, this issue is already getting in the way of business.
“I do have a landscape business so it’s probably going to affect that some,” O’Neal explained. “We got a couple of trucks and equipment we have to keep fueled up, so I’m concerned about that.”
As deliveries raced in, many pumps were limited to only serving regular gas until further notice. Other drivers compared this to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. If you know you can wait a few days before gassing up, please avoid other gas suppliers from running low and stations closing early.