Fewer than 10,000 gas stations along the East Coast are facing fuel shortages as the recovery stemming from the cyberattack targeting a vital U.S. pipeline continues.
At its peak, 16,326 stations in more than a dozen states and Washington, D.C., were running dry after Colonial Pipeline temporarily shut down its system – which is responsible for delivering nearly half of the fuel on the East Coast – earlier this month.
As of Wednesday, the number of gas stations without fuel dwindled to about 9,508, according to GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan.
As replenishment continues, De Haan says consumers won't have to worry when they hit the road for Memorial Day weekend. He cautioned that some states such as Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, will be slow to recover and may not have fuel during the long weekend.
On May 7, a gang of hackers who lock up computer systems and demand a ransom to release them hit the pipeline. 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.
Its decision to do so left thousands of stations out of supplies – in part because of panic buying from consumers.
Because of this panic, however, motorists are now stocked up on full tanks, "causing demand to plummet" De Haan said.
On Tuesday, Gasoline demand in the U.S. was down 16% compared to the week prior.
De Haan projected that the price of gas should fall, averaging around $2.98 by Memorial Day.
"If you don't need gas, prices should be coming down in most areas over the coming days," De Haan tweeted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.