It's ten days since Hurricane Sandy clobbered the Northeast, and the fuel distribution system is still seriously snarled. Although things are returning to next-to-normal in parts of New Jersey and Suffolk County, approximately 75% of gas stations in NYC are still without gas, according to the handy website Gas Buddy. The Times reports that nine of 57 petroleum terminals affected by the storm remained shut yesterday: seven of those are in NJ, one is in Brooklyn and one on Long Island.

The extreme gas lines at many stations were initially caused by power outages. Now the problem is distribution: New York distributors are still scrambling to find alternatives to the damaged fuel terminals, and are delivering less gas to stations around the city. "This week, it is shifting more to being a supply-system problem: getting gasoline from storage to distribution terminals to gas stations to the car you drive," Michael Green, a spokesman for AAA, tells the Times.

The supply-system problem is being exacerbated by what Gas Buddy describes as "a sudden, insatiable demand for gasoline." This has a snowball effect that leads to greater crowds at the pumps, and many New Yorkers are still spending their days waiting on line (yes, on line) for gas. The least fortunate among them are the ones still without electricity—one Queens resident, 50-year-old Frini Charalabidisi, now has a daily routine of waiting on line to buy gas to power a generator to keep her sick father alive. She tells the Post:

We need the gas for his oxygen and sleep apnea machine. Without the sleep apnea machine his heart could stop. This is my job now, I've been coming here for a week. I waited 10 hours the other day but I can't complain because some people have it far worse. The generator keeps his machines running, the refrigerator and a small space heater that we only have turned on for a couple of hours. We've been barbecuing everyday so the food won't spoil. But right now, it's more important for my father to breathe than to eat.

And of course, there is no shortage of unsavory entrepreneurs looking to cash in on others' suffering. People are waiting on line to buy gas and sell it for twice the price, and yesterday we reported that someone on Craigslist is offering gas for sex. The situation is so desperate that EMPTY gas cans are being sold for hundreds of dollars.

This sort of thing is illegal under New York State's price gouging laws, and yesterday state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an investigation into post-Hurricane Sandy price gouging. Sources tell the Post that the A.G. issued a subpoena to Craigslist, demanding information on sellers who are jacking up prices on gas, gas cans, generators, and other supplies. The state's gouging law is intended to protect New Yorkers from rapacious parasites selling goods or services for an "unconscionably excessive price" during an "abnormal disruption of the market." People like this guy, who's selling an empty five gallon gas can for $500.