Fleets React to Fuel Shortage from Colonial Pipeline Hack

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The Colonial Pipeline hack that disrupted fuel supply to the Southeast has also affected public fleets.

Panic buying cleaned out more than half the gas stations in Georgia, Virginia, and the Carolinas, the Washington Post reported. Operations restarted on the night of May 12 after it was forced offline last week, but the company said it may take a few days before kinks in the supply chain are worked out.

At the City of Norfolk, Virginia, Acting Fleet Manager Shevonne Morgan-Glover said on May 12 that fleet management is “proactively working to minimize the threat of substantial impact.”

These actions include reducing city fleet travel to essential services only and prohibiting out-of-city travel, working closely with the fuel vendor to monitor usage and levels, and working closely with the Emergency Operations Center team to be aware of state actions, mandates, and mitigation strategies.

The City of Greenville, South Carolina, has a plan in place for this exact scenario.

“We learned this from the last time the Colonial Pipeline had an issue and caused a problem like this,” Scott McIver, fleet manager for the city, said. “We have an ongoing plan that keeps our tanks full nearly all of the time so we have a constant 16 working days of fuel on hand.”

He reported on May 12 that fleet management had secured priority fuel deliveries from its suppliers and enacted its emergency fuel conservation program.

“We are doing well at this time even with several gas stations in our area running dry,” McIver said.

At the City of Irondale, Alabama, the most recent monthly fuel delivery to its facility arrived a week prior, meaning the city has enough gas for three more weeks, its mayor told CBS42. The mayor believes the city will be able to get its regular monthly delivery with no problems.

*Editor's Note: Updated with City of Irondale information.

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Thi Dao

Thi Dao

Former Executive Editor

Thi is the former executive editor of Government Fleet magazine.

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