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Sandy's Long Lines Ignite Short Fuses At Gas Stations

With many gas stations out of fuel, those that remain open have lines stretching over a mile long and police standing by making sure panic does not set in.

Many of the area gas stations that were open this morning were limiting distribution to generators only. Vehicles trying to locate a station that would service them need only look for a long line of parked cars.

The Hess Station adjacent to the DoubleTree Hotel in Fort Lee is the only gas station open on Route 4 East between Teaneck and the George Washington Bridge and, as of 3 pm, had a line of parked cars stretching well past the Grand Avenue exit in Englewood.

Port Authority and Fort Lee Police, along with Fort Lee Fire Prevention, were on hand to maintain order at the pumps. However, when one car tried to ease its way into the middle of the wait further down the road in Englewood, other drivers waiting their turn began to shout insults and obscenities from their open car windows. That prompted the driver who was trying to cut in line to get out of their car and plead that they were on 'empty.' They received no sympathy from the other drivers, but were successful in blocking another lane of traffic.

Lt. Tom Rowe of the Leonia Police Department, who has been keeping Patch apprised of the area gas situation, has reported that gas deliveries are scheduled for late tonight into tomorrow; officials in Fort Lee report the same. However, they stress that these are just estimates and not guarentees.

A major concern among emergency services in many Bergen County towns is fueling up police cars, fire engines, ambulances, DPW trucks and their equipment--wood chippers, saws, blowers--in light of dwindling fuel supplies.

Steve Curry, head of Fort Lee's Fire Prevention Bureau, said that the Fort Lee Fire Department is limiting first response calls for active alarms to Fire Chiefs and Fire Prevention cars.

"We're only rolling the trucks for emergencies in order to conserve fuel," he said.

How are you handling the gas situation? Do you know of a station that still has gas? We want to know.

Howard L. Pearl November 02, 2012 at 04:28 PM
With the experience that FEMA and other emergency agencies should have garnered from the aftermath of Katrina and other major storms, it would seem like this “gas emergency” might have been foreseen. Perhaps, FEMA could have arranged for a fleet of oil tankers from out of state to efficiently supply all available gas stations (with power to pump). Maybe our governor and his staff could have foreseen this emergency and come up with some not so obvious solution. Too often our government seems to react to a crisis than to be fully prepared to deal with it. There is no understating the devastation that Hurricane Sandy created, but our elected officials need to have a plan, one that is devised long before the chaos strikes.

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