On Monday, the American Automobile Association (AAA) had forecasted gas prices to climb this week in reaction to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which delivers approximately 45 percent of all fuel to the U.S. east coast.
"This shutdown will have implications on both gasoline supply and prices, but the impact will vary regionally," AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee said.
"Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee, and the east coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases," she added.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm urged Americans not to hoard gasoline as the Colonial Pipeline is expected to fully resume operations in a few days after it was forced to shut down due to a cybersecurity attack.
"It's not that we have a gasoline shortage. It's that we have this supply crunch. And that things will be back to normal soon," she said.
Colonial Pipeline, the operator of the pipeline carrying gasoline and diesel fuel to U.S. east and southeast parts, said that the company continues to make forward progress toward returning its pipeline system to service.
However, a growing number of stations along the U.S. east coast are without fuel as the panic-buying increases amid concerns over the shortage of gas. As of Wednesday, 28 percent of all gas stations in North Carolina, 17 percent in Georgia, and 17 percent in Virginia were without gasoline, according to GasBuddy, which tracks fuel demand, prices, and outages.