6 States Facing Possible Gas Shortages After Colonial Pipeline Spill

Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama are affected.

ByABC News
September 17, 2016, 5:08 AM

— -- Six states -- Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and North Carolina -- are facing possible gas shortages after a pipeline spill, officials said.

The states have all declared states of emergency, citing concerns about "fuel supply disruptions" and "disruptions of gasoline" in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline spill.

The governor of North Carolina declared the state of emergency to "help ensure that there will be adequate supplies of fuel across the state and prevent excessive fuel pricing."

Prices on futures contracts for wholesale gasoline rose about 2 percent Friday to $1.46 a gallon after rising 5 percent on Thursday.

Long lines have quickly amassed at gas stations in the six states, and social media users took to their accounts to document the chaos and dwindling gasoline supply, in some cases. Below, images from Tennessee.

On Sept. 9, gasoline was discharged from an underground 36-inch pipeline near Birmingham, Ala. and leaked into a nearby pond. The pipeline was shut down after the discovery of the leak.

Approximately 230,000 of gasoline and water have been recovered as of Friday afternoon, but the presence of explosive vapors is making the cleanup difficult.

"Recovery efforts are continuing 24 hours a day focusing on remediation of contamination and restoration of pipeline services," the EPA said in a statement.

Colonial Pipeline said Friday it doesn't expect to fully reopen its primary gasoline pipeline until next week.

It is one of two major pipelines that connect more than two dozen refineries in Texas and Louisiana with cities in the Eastern U.S. The pipeline provides nearly 40 percent of the region's gasoline and usually runs at or near full capacity.

ABC News' Alexandra Faul contributed to this report.