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Threat of gas shortages eases after pipeline is repaired

Smoke rises from the site of the pipeline explosion near Shelby, Ala.
Smoke rises from the site of the pipeline explosion near Shelby, Ala. Associated Press

The threat of major gas shortages in North Carolina has ended after a major pipeline returned to service, according to an announcement from the N.C. governor’s office.

Gov. Pat McCrory announced Sunday morning that the Colonial pipeline is back in service and he was rescinding an order suspending non-essential travel by state employees.

“This means that North Carolina, as well as our neighboring states, have averted a serious situation regarding our gas supply,” McCrory said.

The Colonial pipeline is a major source of fuel for the state and damage to the pipeline could have caused shortages at gas pumps. The pipeline transports gasoline from the Gulf Coast to New York City, according to Colonial Pipeline Co.

The pipeline was damaged in an explosion and fire last Monday in Shelby, Ala., suspending gasoline distribution to several southeastern states. The explosion happened during maintenance on the line, killing one worker and injuring four others. Gas prices rose slightly during the week in several states because of the risk of shortages.

Kathleen Purvis: 704-358-5236, @kathleenpurvis

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