The 5,500-mile Colonial Pipeline began restarting its operations Wednesday evening after a ransomware attack that crippled the system for six days and led to gas shortages across the Southeast, according to CNN. Pipeline operators have cautioned that it could take time for service to return to pre-attack levels.
Following the attack, which authorities believe criminal group DarkSide is responsible for, gasoline demand in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia spiked by a collective 40.1%.
Shops throughout the Southeast were affected differently. Michael Franklin, administrative director of AmeriPro Auto Glass LLC, Jacksonville, Fla., said he and his employees travel an estimated 1,500 miles per day for jobs. He documented the effects of the crisis on Wednesday prior to the system’s restart.
“We have had some changes overnight,” Franklin said. “Several stations around town are out of gas because of the rush to fill up [Tuesday]. There are several towns in the Western Panhandle that are gasless this morning.”
Matt Bailey, owner of 20/20 Auto Glass, Greenville, S.C., entered the crisis on solid footing.
“Fortunately, we have our jobs booked through the end of this week and into next week,” Bailey said. “That means we also already have most of this glass on hand, so suppliers not delivering isn’t a huge concern (at this point). However, if fuel is unavailable to us and to our customers then we won’t be able to get to the jobs.”
“We are feeling the effects of the shortage in the Southeast,” said Tim Glover, vice president, sales, at PGW Auto Glass, LLC. “So far, we have been able to minimize the impact on our scheduled runs, and will continue to do so, while keeping our employee’s safety at the forefront of all our decisions during this unique situation.”