Many DC gas stations still running dry; Maryland, Virginia improve

Gas is still hard to come by in the nation’s capital, despite the Colonial Pipeline coming online after a crippling ransomware attack had forced it to halt operations.

As of Monday night, travel and navigation app GasBuddy reports the majority of the District’s gas stations — 70% — were still out of gas, but it’s a marked improvement over Sunday night’s figure of 88%. According to the D.C. Energy Office, there are over 100 publicly-available gas stations throughout the city.

Maryland and Virginia saw gas availability improve dramatically over the weekend: On Monday, about 24% of Maryland’s and 28% of Virginia’s gas pumps were running dry, down from 39% and 49% on Friday morning, respectively.

On an early morning drive through Georgetown, Cleveland Park and the U Street corridor, WTOP’s Neal Augenstein came across only one station with all grades available: A lone Marathon near Howard University.

“It’s not clear why D.C. seems to be having a harder time getting gas delivered,” Augenstein told listeners. “Obviously it’s on the way, but if you’re on empty and in the District this morning, you may have a hard time finding gas.”

Price jumps in the region are sizable, GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan said. On average, prices at Virginia pumps rose by 18 cents per gallon last week over the previous week. Maryland prices rose by an average of 16 cents in the same period.

“Colonial Pipeline reports it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal and markets like D.C. will continue to experience outages,” HSEMA Director Chris Rodriguez said.

“We continue to urge residents to drive for essential trips only, use public transportation — including the free DC Circulator when possible — and schedule errands close together. Residents can check gas supply by visiting gasbuddy.com.”

GasBuddy uses crowdsourcing data that gets run through an algorithm for accuracy.

Much of the East Coast has been grappling with gas shortages from a mass rush to the pump sparked by news of the shutdown.

Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline had begun the process of restarting the pipeline’s operations on Wednesday evening, warning it could take several days for the supply chain to stabilize. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told The Associated Press on Friday that the nation is “over the hump” on gas shortages, with about 200 stations returning to service every hour.

Multiple sources confirmed to AP that Colonial Pipeline had paid the criminals who committed the cyberattack a ransom of 75 Bitcoin — nearly $5 million — for the software decryption key required to unscramble their data network.

WTOP’s Will Vitka and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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