Officials remind people to not fill plastic bags with gas as panic buying begins


Drivers fill their tanks at the Speedway in East Ridge, Tenn., on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. The concern over the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline has sparked lines at gas stations and empty pumps in the Chattanooga Area. (Matt Hamilton /Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

(WFRV) – One would think it’s common sense, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued one warning: ‘Do not fill plastic bags with gasoline.’

You read that right. In a recent Twitter thread, they’ve asked people to only use containers approved for fuel, follow the gas canister manufacturer instructions for storing and transporting gasoline and when using a gas canister, never pour gasoline over or near an open flame.

While there is no official gas shortage, states across the country are reporting long lines at the pumps after a cyberattack was used to disable the Colonial Pipeline, a major U.S. fuel pipeline. The pipeline transports gasoline and other fuel through ten states between Texas and New Jersey. According to GasBuddy, 28% of gas stations in North Carolina were out of fuel, Georgia gas stations are reporting 17.5% and Virginia close behind at 17%.

Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute gave an update on the fuel distribution involving the Colonial Pipeline outage saying that consumers should avoid panic buying, stressing this is not an outage. At this time, multiple U.S. agencies are coordinating efforts to evert any potential shortage if they were to happen. According to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, a large part of the pipeline resumed operations late Monday, May 10 and anticipates the rest of the line starting up again by the end of the week.

According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of gas has risen just above $3 – for the first time since 2016. Here in Northeast Wisconsin, average gas prices are hovering around $2.70 and $2.80.

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