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Florida declares state of emergency after pipeline shutdown

Photo: Florida Channel
Photo: Florida Channel

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency in response to gasoline shortages caused by the shutdown of a major pipeline by hackers.

The executive order signed Tuesday by DeSantis activates the Florida National Guard, as needed, and directs state emergency management officials to work with federal and local officials.

The Colonial Pipeline, the biggest fuel pipeline in the U.S., delivering about 45% of what is consumed on the East Coast, was hit on Friday with a cyberattack by hackers who lock up computer systems and demand a ransom to release them.

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.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.