Colonial Pipeline restarted operations at 5 p.m. today, but the company reported that a return to normal supply flow will not happen immediately.
"Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal," the company said in a statement. "Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period. Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference on Wednesday that while there are some fuel shortages happening that are related to the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, it's mostly panic-buying that is causing the sellout of fuel around the state.
"Don't hoard it right now—that's going to make it worse," DeSantis said. "This is a critical infrastructure that was attacked."
DeSantis explained that the pipeline cyberattack is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the daily security attacks local, state and federal governments face.
"Cybersecurity is a huge issue," he said. "The number of attempted intrusions is huge on a daily basis."
From financial institutions to governments, DeSantis said cyberattacks are, "an issue that's going to be with us.
The gas shortage affects Florida, he said, "But we have cleared the way for more fuel to be delivered."
Alachua and Levy counties issued statements on Wednesday to the same effect asking consumers to purchase their regular amounts of fuel and to stop hoarding.
Levy County Emergency Management Assistant Director David Peaton issued the following statement:
"The issues currently affecting the Colonial Pipeline shutdown do not directly affect Levy County or even the vast majority of the State of Florida. This is based on information received from the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Office of the Governor.
"The State of Florida, including Levy County, does not receive its fuel from the pipeline, but rather, receives its fuel from ports located across the state.
"Currently, any shortages occurring in Levy County are not due to the lack of fuel supply but are linked to a run on fuel by the public. We urge residents, and visitors, to refrain from panic buying additional fuel including hoarding and storing the fuel in such items as gas cans or tanks, as not only does this affect local stations, but the unsafe storage of large amounts of fuel can create a safety hazard."
Alachua County released a statement noting the county "receives its fuel from two primary locations: the port in Jacksonville and the port in Tampa. These two ports are not serviced by the pipeline. Any gas shortages we are experiencing are a result of increased public demand because of media reporting on the pipeline.
"We encourage all residents to maintain their normal routine and get gas when they normally would," the press release stated. "We do not recommend hoarding gas or filling up extra gasoline canisters in response to this pipeline incident."
The Florida Attorney General has activated the price gouging hotline. Any suspected price gouging can be reported by calling 1-866-966-7226 or online at http://www.myfloridalegal.com/Contact.nsf/PriceGouging!OpenForm
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