Pipeline reopens, but service may be interrupted for several days

Although the Colonial Pipeline resumed operations Wednesday afternoon, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal, the company reported Wednesday afternoon. 

Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period, according to the company’s update.

The company learned on May 7 it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack, and determined the incident involved ransomware. As a result, the company said it took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations.

With gas shortages reported in parts of the East Coast and in the Commonwealth, long lines at gas stations and Virginians traveling to remote locations to find gas reserves to stock up, the Virginia Department of Fire Programs issued an advisory about safe ways to dispense flammable fuels such as (gas, diesel or heating oil) into a portable container for proper storage:

*Flammable fuels should not be dispensed into portable containers over 6 gallons, and the containers should be listed and approved for the flammable liquid intended for the portable container. 

*Portable containers should have a tight closure with a screwed or spring-loaded cover to prevent spills and vapors from escaping. 

*When transporting gasoline in a portable container make sure it is secured against tipping and sliding, and never leave it in direct sunlight or in the trunk of a car.

*Flammable fuel should never be dispensed into portable cargo tanks or any other container not listed for flammable liquids. 

*Never fill a container while located in the trunk, passenger area of a car or in the bed of a pickup truck. 

*All containers should be place on the ground and clear of any possible ignition sources such as the exhaust from a vehicle. 

*Fill portable containers slowly to decrease the chance of static electricity buildup and minimize spilling or splattering. Keep the nozzle in contact with the rim of the container opening while refueling. Fill container no more than 95 percent full to allow for expansion. 

*If gasoline spills on the container, make sure that it has evaporated before you place the container in your vehicle. Report spills to the station attendant.

*Never smoke around flammable fuels. 

For additional reference, the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code outlines the specific requirements for fuel dispensing and storage, or contact your local fire marshal or VDFP’s State Fire Marshal’s Office for further information regarding fire and life safety education.

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