RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Speaking at the North Carolina Council of State, Gov. Pat McCrory said Monday’s Colonial Pipeline explosion could have severe effects on fuel supplies compared to what occurred in September.
Later Tuesday, Colonial said that it expects the pipe that carries much of North Carolina’s gasoline supply will remain shut down for the rest of the week.
On Monday afternoon, at least one person was killed and five were injured after a petroleum gas line exploded in Shelby County near Helena, Alabama.
The petroleum line that exploded is the same line that leaked in September, causing severe gas shortages in North Carolina and other southeastern states.
McCrory said the state is in ongoing communication with Colonial Pipeline about the possible impact.
“As you know…Colonial Pipeline has a tremendous impact on North Carolina’s fuel supply,” he said.
McCrory said the impact could be worse than back in September.
“There is potential damage to both lines one and two. If it’s both, one and two, it will be more severe than what we had a couple of weeks ago,” he said.
McCrory said in a Tuesday afternoon press conference that Colonial Pipeline had confirmed that one of the two actual pipes that makes up the pipeline is up and running. The pipe that is running carries diesel, jet fuel and similar substances, according to Colonial.
The other line, which is currently shut down, delivers about 70 percent of North Carolina’s fuel supply, McCrory said.
McCrory also said it’s not clear how much the state’s reserves have rebounded since September’s interruption.
While McCrory stressed the severity of the situation, he also emphasized that people should not engage in or encourage panic buying, which would only worsen the problem.
“It’s a very delicate balance of being transparent while also not causing more harm to a situation,” he said.
Gasoline price futures were up Monday evening by as much as 15 percent after the explosion, which burned itself out by 11 p.m., according to a report by Reuters.
Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Tuesday afternoon the the state’s price gouging law that went into effect for gasoline following Hurricane Matthew is still in effect.