Here’s How Long to Expect Delays at the Gas Pump in Hampton Roads

cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline forced a shutdown last week, sparking supply issues of gas in Hampton Roads.

The good news, Colonial Pipeline restarted pipeline operations around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, but according to Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy, we’re looking at about seven to 14 days of headaches.

“The situation will definitely take time and slowly improve due to a high number of outages and higher number of stations to refuel,” he added.

In the meantime, officials are urging everyone to stay calm and not panic purchase.

“There have been reports of long lines at gas stations and Virginians traveling to remote locations to find gas reserves in order to stock up,” a release from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) said Wednesday.

They advised residents and commuters about safe ways to dispense flammable fuels such as (gas, diesel or heating oil) into a portable container for proper storage:

  • Flammable fuels should not be dispensed into portable containers over 6 gallons, and the containers should be listed and approved for the flammable liquid intended for the portable container.

  • Portable containers should have a tight closure with a screwed or spring-loaded cover to prevent spills and vapors from escaping.

  • When transporting gasoline in a portable container make sure it is secured against tipping and sliding, and never leave it in direct sunlight or in the trunk of a car.

  • Flammable fuel should never be dispensed into portable cargo tanks or any other container not listed for flammable liquids.

  • Never fill a container while located in the trunk, passenger area of a car or in the bed of a pickup truck.

  • All containers should be place on the ground and clear of any possible ignition sources such as the exhaust from a vehicle.

  • Fill portable containers slowly to decrease the chance of static electricity buildup and minimize spilling or splattering. Keep the nozzle in contact with the rim of the container opening while refueling. Fill container no more than 95 percent full to allow for expansion.

  • If gasoline spills on the container, make sure that it has evaporated before you place the container in your vehicle. Report spills to the station attendant.

  • Never smoke around flammable fuels.

If you think a business is price gouging the cost of fuel, you can file a Motor Fuels price gouging complaint with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Office of Weights and Measures or with the Office of the Attorney General at [email protected] or 800-552-9963.


photo credit: Hayden Dunsel /