There may be hundreds of thousands of gallons of gasoline in the Arthur Kill between Staten Island and New Jersey but there doesn't appear to be much of that liquid gold at the pumps. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy reports are coming in of incredibly long lines to buy gas—many blocks and hours long—if you can even find a gas station with fuel to spare.
Here's how one tipster described the ordeal of filling up last night:
Tonight every gas station on Coney Island Avenue, and all stations in Park Slope and Sunset Park, besides the two Hess stations, ran out of gas. Lines at the Union Street Hess went around two seperate blocks and had police road blocks. The line at the Sunset Park location was 10 blocks long in two lanes of Fourth Avenue, with road flares and cops galore. Brooklyn is out of gas.
And it isn't just Brooklyn, reports of gas shortages are coming in from all over the region with gas stations running out as soon as they can fill up themselves. The Gulf Express station in Bay Ridge says it ran out of gas in three hours yesterday! And things appear to be even worse in New Jersey (just look at that third picture!).
Part of the problem is that without power from Con Ed there are lots of other things that need gasoline to run—like the generators running the banks in Lower Manhattan. Other reasons why there is so little gas?
Two refineries that make up a quarter of the region's gasoline and diesel capacity are still idle due to power outages or flooding; the New York Harbor waterway that imports a fifth of the area's fuel is still closed to traffic, and major import terminals are damaged and powerless.
The main pipeline bringing gasoline and diesel from the U.S. Gulf Coast refining hub, which pumps 15 percent of the East Coast's fuel, also remains shut.
Beyond regular drivers, cabs and livery services are also being hurt by the shortage. "We've had to cancel a lot of cars today because there's not enough gas," a partner at Fone-A-Car in Brooklyn told Reuters.
So naturally fights are starting to break out. According to the Advance things have been testy at stations in Staten Island with shouting matches breaking out when drivers (and people with jugs) try to cut into the long, long lines. But what do you expect when the wait to fill up can be up to two hours?
Have you tried to get gas? How'd that work out for you?