Some gas stations on military bases in the South are setting limits on gas purchases, in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline shutdown which has prompted long lines at the pump in a number of states that depend on the pipeline.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are “closely monitoring the situation, instituting limits as needed to mitigate potential outages” and getting fuel from all available suppliers, according to a statement from AAFES.
It was not immediately known how many gas stations are affected on Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy bases.
Officials were discouraging panic buying and setting limits on purchases, as long lines formed at some gas stations. For example, at Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River, officials asked that customers refuel only primary vehicles; limit gas purchases to no more than $40; and to not fill up portable fuel containers.
“Please line up for gas in an orderly fashion, wait patiently, and do not block traffic on main roads. Do not travel unnecessarily, carpool when possible, and ask your chain of command about telework options,” Marine Corps Community Service officials stated on their Facebook page Tuesday.
Elsewhere in North Carolina, installation commanders at Fort Bragg are encouraging personnel to telework if possible as a result of the gas shortages, Army Col. Joe Buccino, 18th Airborne Corps spokesman. told Military Times
At the Fort Bragg South gas station, multiple workers were out directing traffic Tuesday morning because of the long lines, according to a tweet from Rick Dickson, a spokesman for the 3rd Special Forces Group.
The shutdown of the major pipeline, due to the work of a gang of hackers, entered its fifth day on Tuesday, with more than 1,000 gas stations in the South reportedly running out of fuel, primarily because of what analysts say is unwarranted panic-buying among drivers, according to the Associated Press. The pipeline delivers about 45 percent of what is consumed on the East Coast and the states most dependent on the pipeline are Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina, according to the AP.
In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency and temporarily suspending motor vehicle fuel regulations to ensure adequate fuel supply supplies throughout the state.
A number of military installations are located in those areas and are seeing the effects.
For example, Camp Lejeune and MCAS Air Station New River are currently receiving only limited supplies of fuel, according to their Marine Corps Community Services Facebook page. Officials are providing specifics for customers on which gas stations will be receiving fuel deliveries.
Both gas stations at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station are temporarily closed, according to their Facebook page on Tuesday.
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Tuesday evening in response to gasoline shortages caused the shutdown of a major pipeline by hackers.
The executive order signed by DeSantis activates the Florida National Guard, as needed, and directs state emergency management officials to work with federal and local officials.
This story contains information from the Associated Press.
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.