- On Air
- Music News
- Calendar of Events
- Support WERS
- About WERS
Gasoline has become increasingly sparse in New Jersey and New York after Hurricane Sandy.
Millions of homes and businesses along the East Coast are still without power. Sixty percent of gas stations in New Jersey and 70% of gas stations in New York City are closed because of power outages. Thirteen fuel terminals are also without electricity which halts delivery of gasoline to some stations.
Chief executive officer of Citizens for Affordable Energy John Hofmeister told CBS, “In order to pump the gas, you need electricity. In order to run the cash register or to run the credit card system from the pump to the credit card company, you need electricity. So if you don’t have electricity at the depots, which fill the delivery trucks—or if you don’t have electricity at a retail station, then you really can’t sell gasoline to the public.”
Cars and people have been lining up at the few remaining operational gas stations. Less than half of the gas stations in New Jersey and Manhattan are still functioning. Pedestrians wait in line with the vehicles to fill up jerry cans for powering their generators.
Jason Brown of Queens told the New York Times, “I’m trying to get gas for my family. Everywhere you go, it’s either a riot or there’s no gas.”
Police have been called in to maintain order after fights broke out among some of the long lines. A man in Queens was arrested for waving a gun at someone while waiting in line.
The need for gasoline is greater than usual in New York City because transportation is not yet fully operational. Cars entering the city can not contain less than three people. While the subway resumed on Thursday, the city’s Taxi Commission said less cabs will be on the street because of the fuel shortage.
Gas prices typically dip in autumn and have been averaging around $3.50 a gallon. Despite that gas stations are not allowed to get involved in setting prices, some stations are charging more than $4 a gallon.
The owner of a Mobil gas station in Westchester County Jimmy Qawasmi said to the NY Times, “People are panicking. People must have heard something.”
In order to lessen the blow, President Barack Obama sent 250,000 gallons of fuel and 500,000 gallons of diesel fuel to New Jersey. However, gas stations are still running out of gasoline and are unable to help the long lines of people.