NC drivers head to Tri-Cities to buy gas; TEMA says no shortage in TN

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UNICOI COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – The company in charge of a major provider of gasoline says it is now sending out gas to several states impacted by a pipeline spill.

A section of the Colonial Pipeline in Alabama has been leaking for more than a week.

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Crews estimate it has spilled at least 330,000 gallons.

That is the same gasoline that would have been shipped to much of the southeastern US, including Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina.

We found out folks in North Carolina are coming to the Tri-Cities just to fill up.

Monday evening we met with Assistant Manager at the Quick Stop in Erwin, Vivian McNab, who said people have been lining up to fuel up since Saturday.

“They just call, say you know I’m in North Carolina, were out of gas here do you have gas. I tell them, yes right now we do, all I can say is take your chance, cause right now I’ve got gas,” McNab said.

McNab said people are worried about a gas shortage after a pipeline spill interrupted service to several states across the southeast, including Tennessee.

Monday afternoon, we found some stations in the Tri-Cities were out of certain fuel grades, while others were limiting the amount of gas people could buy.

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Spokesperson for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Dean Flener, said he wants to reassure people there isn’t a shortage.

“Here in Middle Tennessee we’ve had reports, in East Tennessee of spotty outages. There is not a fuel shortage in Tennessee, there is not a lack of supply,” Flener said.

Flener’s message to the public was that they shouldn’t over buy.

“If they just observe their normal buying habits, observe their normal driving, there will be plenty of fuel supply, and if they see a station out of fuel, if they could give it a little while they will fill back up, and a lot of times other stations in the same market have a supply of fuel,” Flener said.

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