GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Drivers are still feeling the pinch of high gas prices from the Colonial Pipeline gas leak earlier this month, and officials say it could be another couple of weeks before they go back down. EMA officials say the situation is improving though, and there isn't need for concern.
The Colonial Pipeline leak poured thousands of gallons of gas into a remote area in Shelby County, ultimately forcing a shutdown that disrupted gas distribution across the Tennessee Valley and much of the eastern seaboard.
The bypass to the main line is successfully up and running again, but crews do say it could take up to four weeks before fuel prices go back down and for the supply levels to reach pre-leak levels.
Previously officials were encouraging residents to not take long trips and conserve gas, but now officials are saying we're in the clear, and there's no need for that concern any longer. "There's a steady flow of supply now that's going out, so we don't have those long lead times associated with delivery anymore," explains Marshall County EMA Director Anita McBurnett.
Marshall County EMA officials say there could be a few stations locally that are still experiencing a small outage, but for the most part, the situation is improving. "We're in the recovery phase of this particular situation, so things are getting wrapped back up slowly as you would expect," McBurnett said.
Colonial Pipeline estimates more than 300,000 gallons of gasoline were released into a retention pond since the September 9th leak. That resulted in higher gas prices in the southeastern states and locally.
At the height of the situation, multiple Marshall County gas stations were out of various forms of gas, forcing drivers to search to fill up.
EMA officials say they aren't aware of any major or long-term outages in the local area.