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With the recent gas shortage, panic buying has struck Birmingham gas stations, giving us flashbacks to the toilet paper and hand sanitizer fiascos of beginning pandemic times. Whether you worry about travel plans for Memorial Day or just wonder when things will be back to normal, we’ve got all the information you need to know so you can kick off summer stress free.
Why is there a gas shortage at all?
On May 7, Colonial Pipeline temporary closed down their pipeline operations. Why? They discovered they were a victim of a ransom ware cyber-attack. They have since dealt with the issue and reopened the pipelines as of Wednesday. The main problem is not that the pipes closed down but the panic buying thanks to social media convincing people that all gas would be gone.
All gas, of course, is not gone, but the panic buying put us in a bit of a fix. Many stations around Alabama are limiting how much gas can be purchased as people fill up gallons of unnecessary gas in plastic cans. This behavior has only made problems worse and has increased restrictions at almost all gas stations currently.
When will Birmingham gas stations return to normal?
We had the chance to speak with Clay Ingram, Public Relations Manager of AAA Alabama. He had some reassuring words about the situation and why people really have no reason to panic.
“By Memorial Day things will be back to normal, availability will be very good and if not 100%, it should be close to it.”Clay Ingram, Public Relations Manager, AAA Alabama
The pipeline is already back up and running, but it will take a few days to get the gas transported. We should start seeing gas get to most places in the next few days. Most stations in Alabama should be full within a week or so.
In the meantime, the best way to fix the problem is for us to get the least amount of gas possible. If you can make it through the week with half of a tank instead of a full one, do that. We can work together as a state to get back to normal as soon as possible.
If you are concerned about out of state travel in the next few days, AAA has an app you can download for free to see gas stations near your location as well as current gas prices. Although you may encounter some stations without gas if traveling out of state at the moment, the app will show you many alternative options nearby that will provide you with what you need. The AAA app can also help you save money on your travels even after the shortage has passed by finding stations with the cheapest prices.
Thankfully, it seems like the gas shortage is something we won’t have to deal with for much longer at all. In other words—you can plan for Memorial Day and summer without worries.