New York gas rationing is set to end Saturday, weeks after Hurricane Sandy swept through and somewhat unexpectedly wiped out what seemed like the entire gas supply for the New York metro area, including Long Island.
New York gas rationing is to end, but the region was also far slower to implement the infrequently used system after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie put it into place just days after the storm devastated his state.
New York gas rationing’s end is another sign that the area is slowly returning to normalcy after Sandy, the weather event that seemed to never stop giving New Yorkers new and horrifying obstacles in addition to the dangers of a hurricane.
Gas rationing in New York followed devastating flooding, high winds, and unprecedented destruction of both coastal areas on Long Island as well as low-lying areas of New York City. But the gas shortages were another unexpected sucker punch after Sandy hit, and chaos ensued as gas lines wrapped around blocks and wait times headed into the double-digits — in hours – in the days and weeks after the storm swept through.
Here on Long Island, cars parked, waiting at pumps in empty gas stations were not an uncommon sight before gas rationing in New York put an end to the confusion and desperation. Facebook was overwhelmed with posts from locals reporting the availability of gas nearby, urging friends to get while the getting was good despite hours-long queues and angry crowds seeking fuel to power generators, go to work or tend to a stranded loved one.
In a statement, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed New York’s gas rationing end was nigh and declared the program a success:
“The odd-even license plate system not only significantly reduced extreme lines, but also eased anxiety and disruptions for drivers at gas stations across the five boroughs … With more than 85 percent of gas stations now operating – a substantial increase from just 25 percent two weeks ago – and Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, the odd-even license plate system will be rescinded starting tomorrow morning.”
Are you happy to see gas rationing in New York finally come to an end?