Gasoline shortages continue to plague much of the East Coast, leaving a majority of the stations in Washington, D.C., out of fuel.
Supplies at thousands of gas stations in dozens of Southern states were drained after a cyberattack forced a shutdown of the nation’s largest gasoline pipeline earlier this month. The vital pipeline, operated by Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast.
As of Sunday evening, about 12,466 stations had run empty, according to GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan.
In his latest update around 8 p.m. CT, De Haan said nearly 90% of the gas stations in the nation’s capital were running dry. Over the weekend, the number of gas stations suffering from the outages fluctuated between 69% to 88%, according to De Haan’s data posted on Twitter.
Meanwhile, nearly 60% of stations in North Carolina were out of fuel and about half of the gas stations in South Carolina had no gas as of late Sunday evening. In Georgia, about 43% of stations were out of gas.
A cyberattack forced to lock up computer systems of the pipeline on May 7. The hackers didn’t take control of the pipeline’s operations, but Colonial shut it down to prevent the malware from impacting its industrial control systems.
The disruption created long lines at gas stations in the Southeast due to distribution problems and panic-buying, draining supplies at thousands of gas stations.
Multiple sources confirmed that the company had paid the criminals a ransom of nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency for the software decryption key required to unscramble their data network.
Last week, operations had restarted and gasoline deliveries were being made in all of its markets, but the company caution that it would take “several days” to return to normal.
The pipeline runs from the Gulf Coast to the New York metropolitan region, but states in the Southeast are more reliant on it. Other parts of the country have more sources to tap. For example, a substantial amount of fuel is delivered to states in the Northeast by massive tankers.