Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Gas crunch eases as pipeline fixes continue

5:11 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016

Even before the damaged Alabama pipeline started pumping again, retailers said Wednesday the Atlanta gasoline situation was moving closer to normal.

Colonial Pipeline expected to resume regular flow sometime Wednesday evening using a 500-foot bypass around the leaky section of a major regional pipeline south of Birmingham.

But fuel only flows at about 5 miles an hour, and the Alpharetta-based pipeline company also said it would be “several days” before its part of the supply chain is fully restored.


Still, the impact of the pipeline problem was softened by planning, said Angela Holland, spokeswoman for the 7,000-member Georgia Association of Convenience Stores.

“These retailers have been in the industry a lot time and they have contingency plans,” she said. “Our retailers do have fuel coming from other sources, from the Plantation pipeline, from the ports in Savannah and Jacksonville.

“Public fear really drove the demand way up,” since reports of shortages emerged late last week, she said. As long as demand is high, it’s tough to meet it and get things back to normal.”

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