HIGH POINT, NC -- Many Triad drivers started their work week with an unanticipated obstacle -- finding gas.
The Alabama Colonial Pipeline leak has caused a domino effect throughout the Southeast, and Triad gas stations and drivers are feeling the impact.
Several gas stations have sold out of gas, and even as tanker drivers work overtime replenishing supplies, the average price per gallon has increased approximately 20 cents from this time last week.
WFMY News 2's Meghann Mollerus met several drivers Monday morning who said they weren't as concerned about the price as they were about finding gas at all.
"I just wanted some gas. It didn’t matter how much it was going to be. I had to get gas," said Chad Levens, who commutes 35 minutes from Pleasant Garden to High Point.
He found gas at the Speedway on Main Street, where a tanker had replenished unleaded fuel just before 6 a.m. Monday morning.
"I’ve been passing all these gas stations, and all of them are out of gas. (The Speedway) just got a fill-up on their tank (supply), and they say it could be six days to a month before they could get another fill-up."
State officials urge drivers to conserve the gas they have and not to unnecessarily "rush" the pumps. They also encourage drivers to report any suspected price gouging ("unfair" and unwarranted increases) to the state attorney general's office. But, officials say it's reasonable for gas stations to increase their prices as long as they incur additional costs from the oil companies.
Colonial Pipeline officials issued a statement this weekend, saying they're trying to build a temporary pipeline to bypass the broken section and restore the flow as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Levens, like many other drivers, said he'll rethink plans this week.
"I'm definitely not going to drive around as much. I’ll stay around the house more. Drive to work, drive back. Hopefully in the next few days, we can get back to normal and not worry about where we’re going to get gas at."
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