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After gas pipeline break, expect pain at the pump in the mountains

Gasbuddy.com predicts prices could go up 15 cents a gallon--or more--in North Carolina due to the shortage in supply. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

WAYNESVILLE, N.C. -- After a gas massive pipeline break, some expect pain at the pump here in the mountains.

A major spill from a pipeline that supplies gasoline to East Coast is impacting prices at the pumps here in north carolina.

Thousands of gallons of gas spilled from the pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama..

Both Alabama and Georgia have declared states of emergency. The company shut the line down.

The impact on the supply is now driving up the price.

Two hundred and fifty thousand gallons of gas spilled from Colonial's pipeline in rural Alabama.

That pipeline stretches from Houston to New York, providing gas to an estimated 50 million people a day on the East Coast.

It's been shut down for a week now, and prices at the pump are going up.

It's going to hurt us.

Gasbuddy.com predicts prices could go up 15 cents a gallon--or more--in North Carolina, due to the shortage in supply.

"And if you go up 20 more cents we're going to be right at $2.40 a gallon. That's ridiculous," said Waynesville resident Norma Schulhofer. "It's going to hurt because we're on a fixed income. We're on Social Security."

Suddenly, she says, it won't cost 37 bucks to fill up, but close to $50.

"That's a lot of money, man. That buys diapers (for) our three kids," said Zachery Duncan of Maggie Valley. "Buys wipes. Just buys a lot for the little kids, ya know."

The upward trend in price has residents worried. Suppliers are calling station operators.

Pinal Patel of Mobil Quick Pantry in Bethel hears that the shortage is coming.

"But they'll try best to give us gas, so I'll try my best to keep the gas and give it to the community," he said.

Patel is holding his price at $2.10 a gallon, while nearby stations are up to $2.17.

He sees the impact already. And he expects the biggest impact on regular unleaded next week.

To help soften the blow, the governor is temporarily waiving hours of service restrictions for fuel trucks in North Carolina.

The cause of the leak isn't determined yet, and the pipeline operator says it will be at least next week before full service is restored.


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