New York Gas Stations
Long lines for gas persisted more than a week after Hurricane Sandy slammed New York City Oct. 29, 2012. There was no power to pump gas. City officials estimated that only 25 percent of area’s filling stations were operating days later. Tempers flared after drivers spent hours in line, evoking the tense days of the fuel crisis of the late 1970s. A rationing system based on even or odd license plate numbers went into effect to help shorten lines—and ease growing anger. But there were other problems.
Fuel reserves were low. The New York Harbor was closed Oct. 29 until Nov.1 to ships bearing supplies. A FEMA tanker truck was one of five federal mobile fuel stations that came to the city and Long Island, offering 10 gallons of free gas to motorists or those with gas cans. The 8,000-gallon vehicle didn’t carry enough fuel to fill every car snaking a dozen blocks through New York neighborhoods or the gas cans carried by desperate storm survivors waiting in line.
When the harbor re-opened, Governor Cuomo temporarily waived certain taxes and pollution restrictions on fuel deliveries. Business did not return to normal at gas stations until three or four weeks after the storm.
After Hurricane Sandy, FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding of more than $25 million was made available to cover the cost of a generator and a generator switch at each of 200 critical emergency route fuel stations, plus additional gas stations along select routes.