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Valley Public Radio Staff
Fri November 2, 2012
As Tempers Flare At Stations, Moves Are Made To Get Gas To N.Y, N.J.
Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 8:48 pm
Across the region around New York City and northern New Jersey today, "motorists increasingly desperate for a fill-up fumed in long lines at gas stations and screamed at each other" as post-Sandy shortages continued, The Associated Press reports.
Relief, hopefully, is coming soon.
While NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports that many of the massive tanks where companies store fuel have been damaged or are still lacking the power they need to pump out gas, the Department of Homeland Security has temporarily waived provisions of the 1920 Jones Act. It bars foreign ships from transporting products between U.S. ports. Relaxing that regulation may help get fuel to the region.
Also, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told SiriusXM's Doctor Radio Reports show today that the supply situation in New York City should get better soon.
"What happened there was the Coast Guard closed the New York Harbor because they were afraid of debris that entered the harbor," he said. "Apparently some containers were blown off ships, and they were afraid that there was significant debris just beneath the surface that could cause a real navigational obstacle. ... So the Coast Guard had severely restricted access in the harbor. That's how the gasoline comes in, by barge. I spoke to the head of the Coast Guard for New York this morning, they had released the restrictions on the harbor and the tankers were moving so the fuel situation should be abated soon."
For those in northern New Jersey who can get over the state line to Pennsylvania, the Pocono Record has a gas-station locator.
Update at 8:15 p.m. ET. Government Steps In:
Areas impacted by Superstorm Sandy will soon get an influx of fuel.
According to The Associated Press, President Obama instructed the Defense Logistics Agency to purchase up to 12 million gallons of unleaded fuel and up to 10 million gallons of diesel fuel on Friday, to supplement private sector efforts to help the region recover from the storm.
Update at 5:03 p.m. ET. Video Of The Lines:
The Associated Press just posted this video of the frustration fomenting in the gas lines: