CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – Three days into the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, and drivers across the Carolinas are concerned.
“I hope gas prices don’t go up because I am retired. I’m on a fixed income. That’s why I am working part-time,” commuter Thomas Smith said.
Smith said he drives from Gastonia to Charlotte about three time a week for work. With gas prices on the rise, he said outside of that, he plans to stay home.
“Summertime is coming up, vacation trips, so it is normally going to go up anyway during that time, but this is going to be a big hit, a real big hit,” Smith said.
According to GasBuddy, the price per gallon is expected to increase by a few cents but said that could change if the shutdown lasts more than two or three days.
“We’ve quickly started to run up against a kind of safety net of a few days of gasoline supply and really not much improvement,” GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick De Haan said.
Drivers are already starting to see an impact at the pump. According to AAA, the national price for a gallon has risen six cents within the last week.
“When you have the Colonial Pipeline which distributes 45 percent of fuel to the East Coast which of course involves the Carolinas, you are going to see some sort of impact. But, we hope the impact won’t be too long, it won’t be that big of an impact, but time will only tell,” AAA Carolinas Director of Public Affairs Tiffany Wright said.
There is an alternative source of fuel in Charlotte. Kinder Morgan is a pipeline that runs through the Carolinas. The company tells Fox 46 it remains online and full in service.