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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Tuesday amid concerns of gas shortages and price hikes after a cyberattack on a critical U.S. fuel pipeline.
The executive order signed by DeSantis activates the Florida National Guard, as need, and directs state emergency management officials to work with federal and local officials.
The Colonial Pipeline shut down Friday after a ransomware attack by gang of criminal hackers that calls itself DarkSide. The 5,500-mile pipeline runs from Houston to Linden, New Jersey, and delivers about 45% of the fuel used along the Eastern Seaboard.
The declaration comes as people in several states, particularly northwest Florida, reported waiting in long lines to fill up their cars.
More than 1,000 gas stations in the Southeast reported running out of fuel, primarily because of what analysts say is unwarranted panic-buying among drivers.
Nikki Fried, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said in a statement Monday that she was aware of the potential disruption in fuel supply but urged Floridians to not panic buy, hoard, or wait in long lines for gas.
The average gasoline prices in the U.S. jumped six cents Tuesday and may continue to rise as states bear the ripple effects of the cyberattack. In Florida, gas is up four cents from last week and $1.10 from the same time last year, according to AAA data.