Gas shortages: Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

by Brianna Paolotti, staff reporter 

After superstorm Sandy hit the east coast, not only power outages, port closures, and transportation cancellations, the skyrocketing demand for fuel had shut down gas stations all across New York and New Jersey.

According to, at the daily press conference updating New Yorkers on the city’s response to Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg  told attendees that gas is in short supply.

The gasoline shortage has delayed relief efforts, deprived workers of pay, and caused frustration for many. A man was charged in the New York City borough of Queens with threatening another driver with a gun, after he tried to cut in on a line of cars waiting for gas.

“I think it’s insane how some people will go to a certain extent just so that they’re able to get gas,” freshman Gillian Paolotti said.
Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie along with Mayor Bloomberg, placed a gas rationing system limiting the days on which cars can get fuel, based on whether their license plates ended in even or odd numbers. However, not even that stopped the mile-long lines and fights at the few pumps that remained open.

“I waited in line for about ten hours. It felt like I was there for days, the line was hardly moving and the line for people who were standing outside wrapped around the block and had gone further down. When it finally came to my turn, it never felt so good to see that my car had gone from empty to full,” former WJPS student Sarah Bianchi said.

“I was fortunate enough not have to wait the long lines, I am ER nurse and have to get to the hospital as soon as I can. I was so grateful that the police was able to escort me to the front of the line without any problems,” local Baysider Kerry Zaras said.=

While the focus has been on restoring and figuring out how to provide power to gas stations, fuel prices in New York have climbed. At least 13  gas stations had been reported and notified of being accused of gas gouging, charging as much as $5.50 for a gallon of gas. Prices at the offending stations also increased between 17 and 59 percent according to

“I couldn’t believe the amount of  people that were coming up all the way from New Jersey and New York with several gas tanks to fill up just to bring back home,” Honesdale, Pennsylvania resident Margret Cullen said.

Lines at gas stations have largely disappeared in New York City and on Long Island recently, where the rationing system that was created seemed to have taken an effect during the past weeks. In New Jersey, supply network of refineries, ports and terminals are still not close to operating normally. It’ll take awhile to get the tri-state back on its feet again, dealing with the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.


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