Hurricane Sandy Gas Shortage Compounds Travel Problems In New York, New …

* Long lines at gas stations as fuel stations run dry
* Those that are open may start running out within 24 hours
* First day of commuting for many without mass transit
By David Sheppard
NEW YORK Oct 31 (Reuters) – More than half of all service stations in the New York City area and New Jersey were shut on Wednesday due to power outages and depleted fuel supplies, frustrating attempts to restore normal life in the wake of powerful storm Sandy, industry officials said.
Reports of long lines, dark stations and empty tanks circulated across the region on Wednesday, with some station owners unable to pump fuel due to a lack of power, while others quickly ran their tanks dry because of intensified demand and logistical problems in delivering fresh supplies.
The lack of working gas stations is likely to compound travel problems in the region, with the New York subway system expected to be out of action for several days and overland rail and bus services severely disrupted.
In New York, gas stations on Long Island and Staten Island also reported shortages, while lengthy lines were seen in Queens.
In New Jersey, where half of all businesses and homes were still without power, more than 80 percent of filling stations are unable to sell gasoline, said Sal Risalvato, head of the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience, Automotive Association (NJGCA).
“It’s going to be an ugly few days until we can see both power and supplies restored,” he said by telephone.
The problem is not a lack of gasoline in the Northeast, but widespread power outages and the logistical problems created by the storm that are making it difficult to get fuel from refineries and terminals to those who need it.
Kevin Beyer, president of the Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association in Smithtown, New York, estimated that less than half of all gas stations were able to sell fuel on Wednesday morning.
“I have gas in the ground but no power. For many others they’re facing the opposite problem, with power but no gasoline. For the few stations that are lucky enough to have both they’ve got huge lines out front,” Beyer said.
“With the kind of demand they’re seeing they’re likely to run out of gasoline within the next 24 hours.”
Beyer estimated it could take until the end of next week to get all fuel stations operating again.
Four of the region’s six oil refineries were back to full production or increasing run rates on Wednesday, but the second-largest – the Bayway plant in New Jersey – was still idle after flooding damage that traders fear could delay its return to full service. Key import terminals were also still shut.
Power is slowly being restored to the affected regions. The Department of Energy said on Wednesday that 51 percent of homes and businesses in New Jersey were still without power. That is down, however, from around 65 percent on Tuesday afternoon. (Additional reporting by Robert Gibbons in New York; Editing by Claudia Parsons)

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  • Brooklyn, N.Y.

    Pedestrians look over a fence at a pile of boats flooded inland at the Varuna Boat Club on Oct. 31, 2012, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses.

  • Queens, N.Y.

    People walk by a destroyed section of the Rockaway boardwalk in the heavily damaged Rockaway section of Queens after the historic boardwalk was washed away during Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 31, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City. With the death toll currently at 55 and millions of homes and businesses without power, the US east coast is attempting to recover from the affects of floods, fires and power outages brought on by Hurricane Sandy. JFK airport in New York and Newark airport in New Jersey expect to resume flights on Wednesday morning and the New York Stock Exchange commenced trading after being closed for two days.

  • Queens, N.Y.

    Damage is viewed in the Rockaway neighborhood where the historic boardwalk was washed away during Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 31, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City. With the death toll currently at 55 and millions of homes and businesses without power, the US east coast is attempting to recover from the affects of floods, fires and power outages brought on by Hurricane Sandy. JFK airport in New York and Newark airport in New Jersey expect to resume flights on Wednesday morning and the New York Stock Exchange commenced trading after being closed for two days.

  • Atlantic City, N.J.

    A damaged car is shown in the wake of superstorm Sandy, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Atlantic City, N.J. Sandy was being blamed for at least six deaths across the state plus power outages that at their peak Monday affected 2.7 million residential and commercial customers.

  • Brooklyn, N.Y.

    A worker picks up debris outside of the damaged Tatiana Grill on the Brighton Beach boardwalk, on Oct. 31, 2012, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses.

  • Atlantic City, N.J.

    A man walks down a street as workers clear debris from superstorm Sandy in Atlantic City, N.J., on Oct. 31, 2012. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses.

  • Brooklyn Bridge, N.Y.

    Commuters cross New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. The floodwaters that poured into New York’s deepest subway tunnels may pose the biggest obstacle to the city’s recovery from the worst natural disaster in the transit system’s 108-year history.

  • Babylon Village, N.Y

    Bill Schmith, right, gets help from his son-in-law Jeff Aiello as he works to salvage belongings from his heavily damaged home in Babylon Village, N.Y., in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. (Jason DeCrow, AP)

  • Atlantic City, N.J.

    A worker uses a backhoe to move sand near a boardwalk that was destroyed by superstorm Sandy in Atlantic City, N.J., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses.

  • Queens, N.Y.

    Damage is viewed in the Rockaway neighborhood where the historic boardwalk was washed away during Hurricane Sandy on Oct.31, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City. With the death toll currently at 55 and millions of homes and businesses without power, the US east coast is attempting to recover from the affects of floods, fires and power outages brought on by Hurricane Sandy. JFK airport in New York and Newark airport in New Jersey expect to resume flights on Wednesday morning and the New York Stock Exchange commenced trading after being closed for two days.

  • Queens, N.Y.

    An abandoned police car is viewed on the heavily damaged beach in the Rockaway section of Brooklyn are all that remain after the historic boardwalk was washed away during Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 31, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City. With the death toll currently at 55 and millions of homes and businesses without power, the US east coast is attempting to recover from the affects of floods, fires and power outages brought on by Hurricane Sandy. JFK airport in New York and Newark airport in New Jersey expect to resume flights on Wednesday morning and the New York Stock Exchange commenced trading after being closed for two days.

  • New York Stock Exchange

    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Stocks advanced as U.S. equity markets resumed trading for the first time this week after Hurricane Sandy.

  • New York Stock Exchange

    Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, on Oct. 31, 2012. Traffic is snarled, subways out of commission, streets flooded and power out in many parts of the city, but the New York Stock Exchange opened without hitch Wednesday after an historic two-day shutdown, courtesy of superstorm Sandy.

  • Hoboken, N.J.

    People line up to buy supplies at an Ace Hardware running a power generator October 31, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy which made landfall along the New Jersey shore, has left parts of the state and the surrounding area flooded and without power.

  • Hoboken, N.J.

    Blaine Badick and her fiancee Andrew Grapsas cross a flooded street with their dog while leaving their home Oct. 31, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy which made landfall along the New Jersey shore, has left parts of the state and the surrounding area flooded and without power.

  • Hoboken, N.J.

    Members of the National Guard stand ready with large trucks used to pluck people from high water in Hoboken, N.J. on Oct. 31, 2012 in the wake of superstorm Sandy. Parts of the city are still covered in standing water, trapping some residents in their homes. (Craig Ruttle, AP)

  • Staten Island, N.Y.

    Members of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) search for stranded residents as they navigate through flood waters on Hylan Boulevard in the Staten Island borough of New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. New York City officials spent the day grappling with the damage from Sandy, the Atlantic superstorm that killed 10 people, sparked a fire that destroyed 111 homes in Queens, flooded tunnels of the biggest U.S. transit system and left more than 750,000 customers without power.

  • Edison, N.J.

    People wait in line to fill containers with fuel at a Shell gas station Oct. 30, 2012 in Edison, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy which hit New York and New Jersey left much of Bergen County flooded and without power.

  • East Village, New York City

    People gather inside Dorian Gray Tap and Grill during a power outage following Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 30, 2012 in the East Village neighborhood of New York City. The storm has claimed at least 40 lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding accross much of the Atlantic seaboard leaving millions of people without power. US President Barack Obama has declared the situation a ‘major disaster’ for large areas of the US East Coast including New York City.

  • New York City

    Clouds hang over the darkened lower Manhattan skyline at night in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. New York City officials spent the day grappling with the damage from Sandy, the Atlantic superstorm that killed 10 people, sparked a fire that destroyed 111 homes in Queens, flooded tunnels of the biggest U.S. transit system and left more than 750,000 customers without power.

  • Hoboken, N.J.

    The twisted remains of a Hudson River marina are seen across from New York City as a result of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ.

  • Hoboken, N.J.

    A resident walks through flood water and past a stalled ambulance in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ.

  • Hoboken, NJ.

    Cars sit in flood water as a result of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ.

  • Hoboken, N.J.

    A yacht washes up on the waterfront of the Hudson River as a result of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ.

  • Chesapeake Beach, MD

    A downed tree and power lines block Rt. 261 in Calvert County just south of Chesapeake Beach on Tuesday morning in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, in Chesapeake Beach, MD, on Oct. 30, 2012.

  • Reagan National Airport

    A lone arriving passenger walks onto the Reagan National Airport Metro platform just after Metro reopened the system this after noon after Hurricane Sandy in Arlington VA, Oct. 30, 2012.

  • People in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, without power because of superstorm Sandy, wait for a chance to charge their mobile phones on an available generator setup on a sidewalk, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

  • People take photos at water filling the Bowling Green subway station in Battery Park in New York on October 30, 2012 as New Yorkers cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The storm left large parts of New York City without power and transportation. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

  • North Carolina 12 is buckled from pounding surf leading into Mirlo Beach in Rodanthe, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. People on North Carolina’s Outer Banks are facing some flooding and damage from Hurricane Sandy, but emergency management officials say it could have been worse. North Carolina Transportation Department spokeswoman Greer Beaty said the highway was closed Tuesday until crews inspect the road. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley)

  • Foundations and pilings are all that remain of brick buildings and a boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, after they were destroyed when a powerful storm that started out as Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the East Coast on Monday night. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • FARMINGDALE, NY – OCTOBER 30: Timothy Henggeler, Logistics Specialist with FEMA speaks with New York guard members at Republic Airport in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in Farmingdale, New York. The storm has claimed at least a few dozen lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. U.S. President Barack Obama has declared the situation a ‘major disaster’ for large areas of the U.S. east coast, including New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

  • Breezy Point, N.Y.

    A firefighter works to contain a fire that destroyed over 50 homes during Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 30, 2012 in the Breezy Point neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. At least 33 people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy as millions of people in the eastern United States have awoken to widespread power outages, flooded homes and downed trees. New York City was hit especially hard with wide spread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Spencer Platt, Getty Images)

  • Pleasure boats pile up 30 yards or more from the waterÂ’s edge in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in the Cliffwood Beach section of Aberdeen, N.J. The storm’s high winds and the high astronomical tide paired up to rip the boats away from their dock and deposit them on shore. (AP Photo/Peter Hermann, III)

  • A parking lot full of yellow cabs is flooded as a result of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

  • East Coast Begins To Clean Up And Assess Damage From Hurricane Sandy

    OCEAN CITY, NJ – OCTOBER 30: Residents survey the damage after Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in Ocean City, New Jersey. Sandy made landfall last night on the New Jersey coastline bringing heavy winds and record floodwaters. At least two dozen people were reported killed in the United States as millions of people in the eastern United States are experiencing widespread power outages, flooded homes and downed trees. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • Jason Locke sweeps water and mud from his parents’ home in Westport, Mass., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Many homeowners who suffered losses because of flooding from Hurricane Sandy are likely to find themselves out of luck. Standard homeowners policies don’t cover flooding damage, and the vast majority of homeowners don’t have flood insurance.Yet it’s likely that many Northeasterners will purchase it in coming months, hoping they’ll be covered the next time around, at a cost averaging around $600 a year. (AP Photo/The Standard Times, Peter Pereira)

  • The tailend of a SUV is perched on top of a postal mailbox in the aftermath of floods from Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Coney Island, N.Y. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

  • HUNTINGTON, NY – OCTOBER 30: Power lines rest at a 45 degree angle on Clinton Avenue in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in Huntington, New York. The storm has claimed at least a few dozen lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. U.S. President Barack Obama has declared the situation a ‘major disaster’ for large areas of the U.S. east coast, including New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

  • A flood damaged vehicle is surrounded by debris in Mirlo Beach in Rodanthe, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. People on North Carolina’s Outer Banks are facing some flooding and damage from Hurricane Sandy, but emergency management officials say it could have been worse. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley)

  • A police officer watch as a passerby look into a store through a damaged security grate, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island, N.Y. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses.(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

  • HUNTINGTON STATION, NY – OCTOBER 30: A sporting goods and camping store displays it’s message to residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in Huntington Station, New York. The storm has claimed at least a few dozen lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. U.S. President Barack Obama has declared the situation a ‘major disaster’ for large areas of the U.S. east coast, including New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

  • Nicholas Rodriguez looks over a section of the destroyed boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, not far from where a powerful storm that started out as Hurricane Sandy made landfall the night before. Millions of people from Maine to the Carolinas awoke Tuesday without electricity, but the full extent of the damage in New Jersey, where the storm roared ashore Monday night with hurricane force, was unclear. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • People walk on North Carolina 12 away from the buckling of the highway, pounded by surf, leading into Mirlo Beach in Rodanthe, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. People on North Carolina’s Outer Banks are facing some flooding and damage from Hurricane Sandy, but emergency management officials say it could have been worse. North Carolina Transportation Department spokeswoman Greer Beaty said the highway was closed Tuesday until crews inspect the road. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley)

  • A huge tree split apart and fell over the front yard and fence of a home on Carpenter Avenue in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday, Oct., 30, 2012, in Sea Cliff, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

  • Little Ferry, N.J.

    Olivia Loesner, 16, hugs her uncle, Little Ferry Deputy Fire Chief John Ruff, after she was brought from her flooded home in a boat in Little Ferry, N.J., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in the wake of superstorm Sandy. At right carrying pets, is her mother, Janice Loesner. (Craig Ruttle, AP)

  • Ocean City, M.D.

    A National Guard humvee travels through high water to check the area after the effects of Hurricane Sandy Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Ocean City, Md. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (Alex Brandon, AP)

  • Cleveland, Ohio

    Waves pound a lighthouse on the shores of Lake Erie Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, near Cleveland. High winds spinning off the edge of superstorm Sandy took a vicious swipe at northeast Ohio early Tuesday, uprooting trees, cutting power to hundreds of thousands, closing schools and flooding parts of major commuter arteries that run along Lake Erie. (Tony Dejak, AP)

  • OCEAN CITY, NJ – OCTOBER 30: Streets remain flooded after Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in Ocean City, New Jersey. Sandy made landfall last night on the New Jersey coastline bringing heavy winds and record floodwaters. At least two dozen people were reported killed in the United States as millions of people in the eastern United States are experiencing widespread power outages, flooded homes and downed trees. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • A log rests on a vehicle damaged by superstorm Sandy at Breezy Point in the New York City borough of Queens, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • OCEAN CITY, MD – OCTOBER 30: People participate in metal detecting at the beach after Hurricane Sandy hit the region October 30, 2012 in Ocean City, Maryland. The storm has claimed at least 33 lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. U.S. President Barack Obama has declared the situation a ‘major disaster’ for large areas of the U.S. east coast, including New York City, with widespread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/31/hurricane-sandy-gas-shortage_n_2049986.html