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Drivers cope they wait for gas to return to normal

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It will still be a few days before normal gas flow returns.

Jason Donnelly has been driving a Mister Softee truck since April. Since then he's been able to count on that familiar Mister Softee song to attract business.

"I drive through neighborhoods all day, I drive through different offices all over town, I'm never standing still unless I'm serving," Donnelly said. But now the gas shortage from the Colonial Pipeline leak has him standing still.

His ice cream truck only gets 6 miles per gallon so ABC11 found him in park, operating his diesel-run generator and open for business in the Holly Springs Towne Center.

"Right now I'm sitting here because I don't want to waste the fuel, not knowing what's going on, so I use my Facebook to let people know where I am: 'hey come to me!' " Donnelly said.


Fueling up at one of the few open pumps in Raleigh, Ophelia Covington said the gas shortage is not only sending her around town looking for gas, but keeping her at work late.

"Getting off work takes me an extra 45 minutes," said Covington, who drives a medical transport van.

"We drive city to city every day, it takes a lot of gas. Sometimes we fill up twice."

On Tuesday, Gov. Pat McCrory announced there is an end in sight. In a news conference out of Charlotte he said Colonial Pipeline officials said they put in a fix to the pipe that leaked 252,000 to 336,000 gallons of gasoline into a detention pond in Alabama, sparking the shortage.


The governor said the fuel line is scheduled to restart Wednesday. He said he expects the shortage to last now another two to three days and warns people against scrambling to gas stations.

"Resist the temptation to run to the gas station to top off their tanks," said the governor, "that causes more problems than anything especially during the next 24 hours."

This is welcome news to other on-the-go professions, such as Visiting Angels out of Raleigh, which provides home care to senior citizens. They deliver meals, run errands and take them to appointments.

"Our caregivers have to show up to work," said Stacey Sokol, the community liaison for Visiting Angels, "our clients depend on our caregivers getting there."


When it comes to those taking advantage of the shortage, the North Carolina Attorney General has issued three more subpoenas to gas stations.

As of Tuesday, Attorney General Roy Cooper issued subpoenas to gas stations in Winston-Salem, Smithfield and Stokesdale. On Monday, he issued two subpoenas to a gas station and a gas station wholesaler out of Guilford County.

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Drivers can submit complaints of proce gouging to the NC Attorney General's Office

A news release from his office, said that according to reports from consumers, the gas stations allegedly charged $3.99 or more per gallon for gas.

"A supply crunch shouldn't be an excuse to rip off people who need gas," Cooper said. "We're following up on consumers' reports and taking action to investigate possible price gouging."

His office is sorting through 1,145 complaints from consumers and said additional subpoenas are likely.


You can report possible gas price gouging to the Attorney General's Office by filing a consumer complaint at www.ncdoj.gov or calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within the state.

Today's subpoenas follow two subpoenas issued Monday to a gas station and gas wholesaler in Guilford County.

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