The need for fuel after Sandy

by TJ on November 13, 2012

With the refineries being down for the short time, and gas in high demand on the east coast how do we get the gas to those in need after Hurricane Sandy. That is what is on the mind of many who are forced to see gas rationing signs at local gas stations. These have not been seen since the 1970’s.

If you were one of the fortunate ones to get a generator before hurricane Sandy hit you were one of the lucky ones, or were you? Most generators are run on gasoline. When there is a ration of gasoline your generator does not work. Gasoline to the east coast has been a challenging if not downright difficult task. Sandy damaged ports that accept fuel tankers and flooded underground equipment that sends fuel through pipelines. Without power, fuel terminals can’t pump gasoline onto tanker trucks, and gas stations can’t pump fuel into customers’ vehicles. The Port of New York and New Jersey was slowly starting to accept tankers, but some cargo was being diverted to the Port of Virginia. Federal requirements for low-smog gasoline have been lifted, and fuel trucks are on their way to the area. This is good news, but it is a very slow process.

While relief is expected in the next few days, NJ officials have passed an ordinance rationing gas, a move unseen in 30 years. The last digit on the license plate number of NJ residents will determine what day they can purchase gas. Odd numbers will correspond to odd days and even numbers to even days, according to the ordinance. Those looking to fill canisters will need to bring identification with their address. The last digit on their address will be used to determine which day they can purchase gas. This does seem like a difficult process, but most people are accepting of this and understand the need for this in the short run. Many neighbors are conserving together and are willing to share the generator to power food, heat and electronics to keep them going. The lines are a couple hours long, but they are able to get fuel to run their generator for a day or so. Most people bring two cans to get them through to the next time they can get gas. This process and the knowledge that more trucks will be coming from all over the area soon, helps people know this is a temporary situation. Some gas stations that have issues with their ground water might not be as quick to fix though.

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