Finding gas remains a struggle for Charlotte-area drivers — and a more expensive one

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Charlotte-area drivers can expect to begin the week still struggling to find gas — and paying more to refuel their vehicles.

As of Monday afternoon, about 51% of North Carolina gas stations are out of fuel, GasBuddy.com energy analyst Patrick De Haan said in a tweet. That’s down from its peak of 74.9% last week, De Haan said. In South Carolina, about 44.9% of stations were out Monday afternoon, down from a high of 54.2%, he said.

De Haan also reports that weekly gas price jumps “have been sizable,” especially in areas still suffering from fuel outages. North Carolina had a 20-cent increase week over week, while South Carolina saw a 19-cent jump.

The average gas price for regular unleaded fuel in North Carolina rose to $2.93 Monday, compared to $2.73 a week ago, according to AAA.

In Charlotte, gas prices continue to increase coming out of the weekend. The average price for regular fuel hit $2.93 Monday morning, 22 cents higher than a week ago. Nationally, the price of regular fuel is nearly $3.045.

The ransomware attack that targeted Colonial Pipeline on May 7 forced the shutdown of the 5,550-mile pipeline that delivers 45% of fuel to the East Coast. Last week, the FBI last blamed the attack on DarkSide, a group of Eastern European hackers, McClatchy News reported

Colonial Pipeline Co. said it is “transporting refined products at normal levels and are fully operational.”

“It will take some time for the fuel supply chain to fully catch-up,” the company said in a statement Monday afternoon.