News Column

New York Rations Gas as Blackouts Spread

Nov. 8, 2012
gas container

New York motorists can buy gasoline for their cars on an odd-even numbering system beginning Friday, as fuel shortages continued in storm damaged areas, a week after Hurricane Sandy, authorities said Thursday.

A system based on odd and even numbers on license plates began last week in New Jersey, forcing drivers to line up for hours after Sandy knocked out power to residential areas as well as petrol stations.

Some stations ran out of fuel despite Federal Emergency Management Agency efforts to bring in petrol tankers.

Battered areas in the region suffered new misery when an early winter storm dumped up to 12 cm of snow Wednesday across the north-eastern United States, from Pennsylvania to Boston. Much of the snow in New York City melted by dawn Thursday.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the odd-even system for the city's boroughs while Gov. Andrew Cuomo said storm Athena, which hit the region Wednesday with heavy rain and snow, caused more power outages in small pockets. Some blacked out areas just had power restored before Wednesday night's outages.

Cuomo said there were 108,000 Nassau County customers in Long Island, 79,000 customers in Suffolk County and 23,000 in Queens, a New York City borough.

"Last night was half a step back in Nassau and Suffolk with an increase in number of people who lost power," Cuomo said. "Progress is slow because in impacted areas you have to go building by building, because you have to find out what buildings can take the power. That's a labor-intensive activity."

AccuWeather forecasters said the northeastern U.S. expected milder weather in coming days, with temperatures above 12 degrees through the middle of next week.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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