Twelve days ago, Hurricane Sandy swept through New York City. Virtually overnight, subway tunnels were flooded, trees were down, bridges were closed, gas reserves were low: Transportation in the city came to a virtual stand-still.
But that was twelve days ago.
Today, most of the bridges have re-opened; the tunnels have resumed access, the subway is up and running, and traffic is again flowing.
But… gas reserves are still low.
And not only have gas reserves failed to return to normal levels, gas stations might go days without even opening their doors.
In fact, yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg announced beginning today at 6:00 a.m., and continuing until further notice, New York City will begin rationing its fuel reserves through an odd-even license plate system for gasoline purchases.
Today, November 9, is an odd day. So license plates ending in an odd number today have the privilege of waiting on gas lines for hours. Drivers are frustrated, angry and confused.
“This is my second time going through this, and no one’s explaining anything,” said one patron waiting in line at the Hess Station on Bedford and Park avenues. “But then again, who are we supposed to complain to? The gas gods? I mean, c’mon, this [stuff] is ridiculous now.”
“It’s bad; it’s just bad, I don’t know what else to say,” said another patron at the pump.
Another customer also waiting in line seemed less bothered, “I can’t explain it. But since there’s really nothing we can do about it, why complain? It’s probably more complicated than we can understand,” she said.
Down the street at the Shell Station on 895 Bedford Avenue, the station clerk, Dennis, said they had not received gas since Sunday, and he didn’t know when they would be receiving another delivery.
“I can’t answer that question,” said Dennis. “We’re in the dark like everyone else waiting for gas. You need to call Shell or the governor or the mayor. When the gas comes, I sell it. All we’re told is that we’re on the schedule to get gas, that’s it.”
Williams Johnson, the station manager at the Bedford Hess station, did – at least – have a theory: “I think a lot of the towers were destroyed in the hurricane,” said Johnson. “I think those towers that regulate gas, a lot of them went down, so we’re working with fewer towers now.”
Bed-Stuy Patch also reached out to Hess’s spokesperson for a reason behind continually low fuel reserves. But her answer managed not to answer much at all:
“While the supply situation in New York has been slower to recover, good progress has been made in the past few days with the reopening of several New York terminals and the increase in delivery trucks in the New York metro area,” said a spokesperson at Hess. “We expect that the odd-even rationing introduced by Gov. Cuomo effective [today] will further improve the supply-demand balance in New York.”
Why do you think fuel reserves remain low throughout the region? Do you feel that it is a good thing-- that perhaps, less gas will lead to less driving and a better environment? Or do you feel there is another explanation for the shortage?
Tell us what you think in the comments.