Pipelines - as it turns out - are a good thing.

As reported eariler today by Reuters (among several other outlets), gas stations in the Southeastern US began running dry and prices at the pump skyrocketed.

The Colonial Pipeline, a source of nearly half the fuel supply on the U.S. East Coast was shut on Friday after hackers launched a ransomware attack - effectively locking up its computer systems and demanding payment to release them.

Colonial said  that it is "making progress" and "hopes to restart a substantial portion of operations by week's end". 

"Markets experiencing supply constraints and/or not serviced by other fuel delivery systems are being prioritized," Colonial said in a statement.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden projected a restart in around 5 days, and urged motorists not to "top up their tanks".

These instructions did not stop Florida from declaring a state of emergency, however.

"This is something that demands really serious federal attention," Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Tuesday, prior to declaring a state of emergency.

"The U.S. government needs to be involved, they need to help mitigate this. My fear is, you have these gas shortages, it’s going to cause a lot of problems for people."