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A Woodbridge driver attempts to fill his car with flex fuel, but only pumps a quarter-gallon before the pump ran dry.

Colonial Pipeline restarted operations at 5 p.m. Wednesday as panic-induced gas shortages swept across the East Coast and Gulf coast states.

As of 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, 49 percent of Virginia gas stations had no fuel, up from just 16 percent this morning, according to GasBuddy.com.

In a news release, Colonial Pipeline said it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal following a weekend ransomeware attack that took the computer systems offline. The pipeline, which runs from Texas to New York, supplies about 45 percent of the East Coast's motor fuel.

"Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period," the statement said. "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."

As part of this startup process, Colonial will conduct "a comprehensive series of pipeline safety assessments in compliance with all federal pipeline safety requirements," the company said.

The pipeline is still manually supplying fuel, but demand left gas stations in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi with depleted supply. Long lines and closed pumps followed.

Federal and state officials have eased transportation and environmental regulations to help keep gas flowing, and anti-price gouging laws are in effect.

During a Wednesday afternoon briefing before Colonial Pipeline's announcement, President Joe Biden said he thinks the panic-induced shortage will end soon.

"I think you’re going to hear some good news in the next 24 hours and I think we’ll be getting that under control," he said. "I’ve lifted some restrictions on transporting fuel and the U.S. military providing fuel where needed."

He said the crisis shows greater investments near to be made in "education as it relates to be able to train and graduate more people proficient in cyber security."

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(8) comments

Lynne June

All “liberals” own electric cars? I think not. Anyway, wait until the hackers take out the electrical grid.

Robert Austin

Liberals got on board with "Riding with Biden." Now you're walking with him. You idiots.

Bob Jones

No we aren’t. We’re all flying past you semi-hemi-desiel drivers with our electric cars, chortling mightily.

Mike Geffert

At least we can spell diesel - it appears all that chortling has fogged your liberal brain stem, further.

Bob Jones

Oh no! An attack on a typo, what ever shall I do? Oh. Right. Drive away, I suppose.

John Dutko

I read that like it was William Shatner.

Duke Nukem

Were you able to get the tax credit on your $100k+ Tesla before it phased out? Ridiculous tax credits for the rich. For people who think plugging into a coal powered plant to drive to the grocery store to pick up food delivered by "semi-hemi-desiel" is better for the environment.

Duke Nukem

oh by the way, how long does it take you to charge up your electric car when you take long trips and it runs out of juice? I guess it gives you time to read your favorite manifesto

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