With power still out in much of North Jersey and dwindling fuel supplies causing a mad dash to the gas stations that remain open, people are waiting hours in their cars or with empty gas cans for their turn to fill up in the aftermath of Sandy.
In Fort Lee, where Police Chief Thomas O. Ripoli said “four or five” service stations are open, the situation is no different.
“We’re trying to tell people to stay home, but they’re all looking for gas,” Ripoli said. “And only a certain amount of gas stations are open. They have to just obey the officers at the gas station.”
Ripoli said Fort Lee police are out in full force trying to maintain order at gas stations and elsewhere, and he asked Fort Lee residents for their cooperation and urged patience.
“We have extra patrols on everywhere,” Ripoli said. “All detectives are in uniform, and we have everybody out there. Be patient, and everybody’s got to work together and cooperate. Listen to the officers’ directions. I have everybody on 16-hour shifts. We’re doing our best”
As Fort Lee resident and Patch blogger Paul Umrichin pointed out, the local police have installed traffic signs at some intersections in town that say, “Major Road Closures,” and then, “Go Home.” But Ripoli said that’s “just not happening.”
“So they’re going to have to deal with the lines; they’re going to have to deal with the aggravation,” he said, adding, “And stay home if possible.”