City takes precautionary measures

Assistant City Manager Derwick Paige speaks dur-ing a press conference on Monday, Sept. 19. Paige discussed the city’s precautionary actions taken to deal with the Colonial Pipeline Co. oil spill.

City takes precautionary measures
September 22
09:30 2016

Photo by Tevin Stinson



After missing a fuel delivery earlier this week because of the Colonial Pipeline Co. oil spill in Alabama, Winston-Salem city officials suspended the operation of all non-emergency vehicles as a precaution Monday afternoon.

The Colonial Pipeline sprung a leak last week, affecting southeastern states such as North Carolina.

Meanwhile, everyday drivers across the community and the state were met with colored plastic bags and signs. According to AAA Carolinas, the oil spill also caused prices to increase.

The average cost of gasoline is currently $2.16. Last week’s average was $2.05

According to a press release, “Colonial Pipeline operators are currently working to repair the pipeline and expect to re-start the movement of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from Texas and Louisiana refineries to a number of Gulf Coast and southeastern states sometime this week.” The Colonial Pipeline disruption could contribute to the availability of supply and North and South Carolina may see higher prices until normal shipments resume.

“We want to remind motorists that this issue is temporary and to continue normal habits at the pump,” said AAA Carolinas Public Relations Manager Tiffany Wright.

The city’s Emergency Management Director Mel Sadler offered similar advice to local drivers. He said, “We want to remind everybody to not be overly apprehensive and start hoarding gasoline.

“We don’t want anyone storing gasoline in your home or in your automobile. That could lead to a very dangerous situation,” he said. “We want to ask everybody to be careful and not be too apprehensive.”

At least one gas station in Winston-Salem has been accused of price gouging and is subject to prosecution.

Assistant City Manager Derwick Paige said about 1,000 city owned vehicles would be parked until a shipment is received. Paige noted while police officers, first responders and sanitation workers will not be affected by the gas shortage, non-essential services such as inspections, recreation and parks field maintenance, and minor street and building repairs would be suspended as a result of the gas shortage.

“With the current fuel we have on hand, it will get us through the next three days,” said Paige. “We expect those services to be back in their normal routines after the next shipment we are expecting as early as Wednesday.”

Paige noted although the city has enough gas to last, they wanted to be prepared and felt the need to take precautionary measures. As of Monday, the city had 91,000 gallons of fuel. He mentioned police and sanitation only use about 11,000 gallons a week, while fire trucks and other similar vehicles use diesel fuel.

According to Paige, the line that supplies diesel fuel was not damaged.

“We would rather be safe than sorry,” he said.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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