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Temporary Colonial gas pipeline shut down leads to fuel tips from local EMA

While the agency said no major shortages are expected at this point, it suggests the gas-saving tips could come in handy even during a typical drive.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A local government agency is sharing a list of tips ahead of any possible fuel shortages after an Alpharetta-based gasoline pipeline operator announced on Saturday that it had been hit by a cyberattack.

Colonial Pipeline, which operates roughly 5,500 miles of fuel pipeline from Texas to New York, confirmed a suspected ransomware attack and said that it was working to get its systems back online.

As a result, the company said it took certain systems offline to "contain the threat." However, this also temporarily halted all pipeline operations. 

With the pipes estimated to carry about half of the fuel supplies for the East Coast, the Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency is urging motorists to take precautions to save fuel just in case those supplies run low.

Among those tips, the agency is telling residents not to fill up unless they need to and to only fill to half of what they would normally. The agency also points to public transportation as an option.

Meanwhile, those who have multiple vehicles should consider driving the most fuel-efficient of them for a given task. And when running out to take care of errands, try to plan several of them in a single trip.

The agency also said that minimizing air conditioning use can help as can removing unnecessary heavy items from the vehicle.

And while a significant disruption isn't expected, the EMA suggests that these tips are helpful for saving gas at any time.