MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Area agencies have advised staff to be mindful of vehicle usage as the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline due to a cyberattack caused panic at the pumps, but most have been unaffected.
News13 reached out to local agencies and got the following responses.
Conway Fire Department:
“Conway Fire Department has altered our non-emergency usage of the fire apparatus and staff vehicles. We have advised staff to be mindful of the shortages and limit the usage of vehicles. So far we have been fortunate and have not allowed vehicles to drop below 3/4 of a tank.”
“The fuel shortage hasn’t impacted us in a major way yet. The officers have been able to find fuel, and keep each other informed especially on night shift as to which stations have gas and which do not. Our operations haven’t changed, but we learned a lot during COVID that has helped us deal with the gas shortage. We take fewer people to jail for certain crimes, for instance. If someone is pulled over and they’re operating uninsured or have a small amount of weed, or even if they’re driving under suspension for certain reasons, our officers are giving citations instead of making jail trips. You’re far less likely to go to jail now for minor offenses than you were Pre-Covid. We are handling some cases by phone and email where possible, instead of sending an officer for non-emergency calls like a lost license plate, civil disputes, and some fraud cases. We also have a reserve fuel supply that is available for us, that could get us through a week or two in the event public fuel supplies are totally exhausted.”
Florence County Sheriff’s Office:
“We have not experienced any major problems so far. In order to conserve fuel, if we can handle a call by telephone, we try to do that, but we are still responding to calls in person. Hopefully any supply disruptions will be temporary.”
“No impacts at this time.”
“We have had to direct some resources for traffic direction at one station in town as people rushed the pumps on Wednesday. We have made adjustments to operations to conserve fuel in the event we cannot get access to additional fuel in the next week or so. At this time, we are able to get sufficient fuel supplies and none of our vehicles have run out of fuel.”
“City staff has been instructed to top off tanks daily. Leaders are monitoring the potential for fuel shortages around the clock. In addition, we work with emergency management leaders ahead to mitigate.”
Horry County Fire Rescue:
“We are aware of concerns regarding gas availability. We are monitoring the situation and will adjust as needed. Public safety services continue with normal operations.”
North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety:
“The City of North Myrtle Beach is in good shape and all services (police, fire/rescue, sanitation, public works, etc.) are functioning normally.”
“We are monitoring the situation very closely, but haven’t had any issues yet.”
“The Bennettsville Police Department has zero issues with our fuel supply at the moment. We have ‘on site pumps’, which hold well over five thousand gallons of regular fuel, not counting diesel. Our ability to respond to emergencies should not be negatively impacted at all. We are very fortunate to have such means and equipment at our disposal. The citizens of Bennettsville should feel safe knowing that police and fire will respond if we are called.”
Colonial Pipeline initiated the restart of the pipeline at about 5 p.m. Wednesday and it will take a few days for things to be running normally. Fuel expert Patrick De Haan with GasBuddy said there could be a headache at the pump for seven to 14 days due to the number of stations that need to restock after people swarmed the pumps in fear of a shortage.