DEVELOPING: State of emergency in N.C. over expected gas shortage

Gas prices at the BP gas station on Long Shoals Road in South Asheville at about 5 am Saturday morning. A pipeline rupture in Alabama has caused gas shortages in 6 states, including North Carolina. (Photo credit: WLOS)

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Governor McCrory's office declared a state of emergency in North Carolina due to the gas shortage expected from a major pipeline burst in Alabama.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper warns of "price gouging" amid a developing gas shortage in WNC.

Locally, by Saturday afternoon stations in some counties began restricting purchases to only 10 gallons, and some stations are completely out of gas for the time being.

"We are working with state and national officials to make sure North Carolina is not impacted by this leak," said McCrory in a press release issued Friday evening. "This executive order will help protect our motorists from excessive gas prices and ensure an uninterrupted supply of fuel that is essential for the health, safety and economic well-being of businesses, consumers and visitors in North Carolina."

RELATED | Several gas stations in Asheville area run out of fuel

Some experts expect gas prices to go up as much as 20 cents in the next few days. Several Ingles gas stations across WNC are completely out of gas, with no estimate on when they'll be back in business.

Officials believe six states--North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia and Alabama--are all facing possible shortages due to the spill.

McCrory's Executive Order 101 eliminates certain size and weight restrictions on vehicles transporting gasoline into the state. It also eliminates registration requirements for those vehicles. According to Section 6, parts of the waiver are in effect for 30 days or the duration of the emergency, whichever is less.

The Colonial Pipeline runs from Texas to New York and supplies gas to an estimated 50 million people a day on the East Coast. On September 9, a 36-inch pipeline near Birmingham, Alabama began leaking gasoline into a nearby pond. The pipeline was shut down after the leak was discovered.

Approximately 230,000 gallons of gasoline and water have been recovered as of Friday afternoon.

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