State officials are urging Mississippi residents to refrain from panic buying gasoline after a cyber attack halted operations for the Colonial Pipeline system on Friday.
“The reality is we do not have a fuel shortage in this state… The greatest risk that we face right now is panic buying,” Andy Gipson, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, said in a video statement on Monday.
While some gas stations across the state have reported low or empty fuel inventories, officials say that less than 30% of Mississippi’s fuel supply comes from the Colonial Pipeline.
“So stay calm — buy your normal level of weekly gasoline — and live your life! If everyone takes this approach, this will be behind us with minimal impact,” Gov. Tate Reeves said in a Facebook post.
The 5,500-mile Colonial Pipeline system, which runs from Texas to New Jersey and primarily serves the East Coast, came under a ransomware attack on Friday. It delivered nearly half of the fuel for the East Coast. The corporate operator of the pipeline released a statement on Wednesday saying the company had started to resume operations, but it would take “several days” until fuel deliveries return to normal.