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North Carolina's gas outages should start to improve this week: GasBuddy

Prices may spike again ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As the Colonial Pipeline slowly starts to flow again, many drivers are breathing a sigh of relief. But in the Charlotte region, there is still pain at the pump.

That pain was mostly due to panic buying after the pipeline was hacked and supply slowed.

"It looked like everybody was racing around like there was a Cat 5 hurricane about to hit us," Michael Murphy said while buying gas. 

According to GasBuddy, North Carolina has the second-most stations without gas: About 58%. South Carolina is around 50% and Georgia is about 43%.

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"I didn't think it was gonna be that bad," Murphy added. "I actually thought it was gonna be a couple of days, but man, I did not realize it was gonna be like this."

RELATED: 'Normal operations': Colonial Pipeline delivering millions of gallons per hour, they say

Charlotte gas prices have risen 15.3 cents in just the past week, averaging around $2.92 a gallon, according to Gas Buddy. Gas prices in the Queen City are 29.3 cents per gallon higher than just a month ago. Compared to a year ago, gas prices are $1.21 a gallon higher.

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However, GasBuddy expects prices to start to lower as the pipeline continues to flow. But with Memorial Day around the corner, when gas prices typically increase anyway, drivers shouldn't get too excited. But GasBuddy experts said outage numbers should continue to decline this week.

RELATED: US energy secretary: Normal service at gas pumps likely by late Sunday

"I got one of my vehicles on half a tank and another one that's sitting at home and it has no gas in it," Daryl Ford told WCNC Charlotte as he was buying gas. "So, I'm hoping to fill my gas in this vehicle up here and then take this back home to at least get my Kia moving in the yard."

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