US President Joe Biden called on Americans to exercise calm on Thursday as a key pipeline resumes operations following a crippling cyberattack.
Biden said that even though the Colonial Pipeline began to restart the flow of oil after a ransomware attack on Friday, consumers "will not feel the effects at the pump immediately."
"This is not like flicking on a light switch," he said, noting the 5,5000-mile pipeline that runs from the southern state of Texas to the northeast has never been shut down in its history. "It's going to take some time, and there may be some hiccups along the way here."
The situation at the pump should begin to improve by the weekend and early next week.
Currently, 68% of gas stations in North Carolina have run out of fuel, according to the Gas Buddy gas price website. The state remains that hardest hit by the shutdown, but about 73% of stations in Washington, D.C., the nation's capital, have also run out of gas.
In Virginia, more than half -- 51% -- have run dry, and 52% in North Carolina have as well, according to Gas Buddy. The website bases its data on information crowdsourced from app user data and cautioned it may not reflect the current situation.
Biden urged Americans to resist hoarding, saying it will only delay the process of returning operations to normal while warning gas station operators not to "take advantage of consumers during this time."
"This is a temporary situation. Do not get more gas than you need in the next few days," he said.