Governor says gas pipeline could be fixed by weekend

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A flame continues to burn after an explosion along a Colonial pipeline in Helena, Ala. (AP photo/Brynn Anderson)

Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday that a gas pipeline rupture in Alabama is still burning, but owner Colonial is targeting getting it back open by Saturday.

Wednesday, McCrory said fleets of gasoline tanker trucks from outside North Carolina have arrived and are already making deliveries across the state.

"I am continuing to work with our emergency management team to closely monitor the situation in Alabama," said Gov. McCrory. "I will continue to take every measure that is needed to minimize the impact of this disruption on North Carolina.
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An assessment of the extent of the pipeline damage could come sometime Thursday


The governor signed an executive order Tuesday to waive certain state requirements and the state agriculture department granted another waiver to allow these tanker trucks to come from out of state and move more supplies in.

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"This waiver will allow for an increase in our gas supply that should not affect the quality or safety of fuel," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "Gasoline products from northern states, which previously could not be sold in our state, can now be used at our pumps. What we are allowing is our winter fuel supply, which has different vapor pressure and normally is allowed for sale beginning in December, to be sold now."

This update comes after the head of the state petroleum council said only 10 percent of the gas reserve has been replenished since the gas crisis in September.

RELATED: 'NO CAUSE FOR PANIC' OVER GAS PIPELINE SHUTDOWN

Meantime, drivers are not in panic mode. While there are some bags on pumps, it's not widespread.



Ken McCormick owns Tri City Auto Care in Durham and recommends a visit to your mechanic now should gas supplies become tighter.

He suggests getting your tire pressure checked and to even consider using nitrogen in your tires versus air.

"We put nitrogen in our tires here which will also make the tires run cooler, which will get better fuel economy," McCormick explained.

However, the nitrogen does come at a higher cost so you'll want to do your homework to see if it's an option for you.

McCormick also suggest checking your air filter. He said when it gets really clogged up it could cause your car to burn more gas.

Related story: What caused September's gas shortage in North Carolina

Other recommendations include, taking your car in if your check engine light is on, not running your air conditioner if you're sitting idle and not overloading your car with items. The heavier your vehicle is, the more gas it will consume.

Both experts and the governor continue to advise North Carolina residents to not overload gas stations and to continue gassing up on your normal routine.

"I don't think it is too early to say there will be an impact. I think that is all but guaranteed at this point based on what we know now," said Patrick DeHaan, Sr. Petroleum Analyst with Gasbuddy.com. "I would tell motorists to be prepared for gas price increases and to cut back on travel if they don't have to."

Colonial Pipeline, based in Alpharetta, Ga., operates 5,599 miles of pipelines, transporting more than 100 million gallons daily of gasoline, jet fuel, home heating oil and other hazardous liquids in 13 states and the District of Columbia, according to company filings. Authorities have not said which type of fuel was involved in the explosion Monday.

Watch: Tips from AAA on how to conserve fuel
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Some tips from AAA on how to use less gas while driving

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