TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WEAR) — Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for Florida following the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline — a major U.S. fuel pipeline operator.
The pipeline was shut down following a ransomware attack, causing disruptions to the fuel supply around the country and Northwest Florida.
The cyberattack forced Colonial Pipeline to shut down operations to contain and respond to the attack.
The executive order signed by DeSantis activates the Florida National Guard, as need, and directs state emergency management officials to work with federal and local officials.
This week, drivers around Northwest Florida have been running into empty pumps at gas stations. The Pensacola fuel terminal is also said to blame — the Florida Department of Agriculture saying the company didn’t meet EPA standards required by May 1.
Viewers have also sent in several photos and made calls into the newsroom about some gas stations charging over $4 a gallon.
Channel 3 spoke with Ned Bowman, executive director for Florida’s Petroleum Marketers Association, who says he believes the pipeline should come back online later this week.
Florida Sen. Doug Broxson says gas is available in Florida, but panic buying is the cause of the shortage.
“People went and filled up their cars. They filled up their containers in fact one person was seen filling up a Lowe’s 5-gallon so we had a complete panic and that created the shortage,” said Broxson.
The executive order is in effect for 30 days. Under the order, the state waives weight and size restrictions on fuel trucks entering the state to provide fuel or supplies.
The order also makes price gouging unlawful.
To read the full memorandum, click here.