Residents in New York, New Jersey, and surrounding states have been forced in some cases to wait hours before filling up their vehicles gas tank. Following the destruction and flooding of Hurricane Sandy, many gas stations have yet to re-open, and others are being flooded with requests for gasoline.
According to AAA New Jersey, 40 percent of the states 2,944 gas stations are currently operational. In New York’s Long Island area, only 35 percent of its 1,472 gas stations are up and running.
The situation has become so bad that some locations have cars backed up for miles while some customers have chosen to stand in line with gas cans to avoid running out of fuel while sometimes waiting hours to receive gas.
In several cases, customers have waited hours to receive a tank of gas only to be turned away when the station runs out.
The situation has become so bad that police in some of the hardest hit areas have been forced to direct traffic in and out of the gas stations that are currently operational.
While such a shortage could have easily caused gas prices to rise, a steady national decline in pricing has led to only a 1.1 cent price increase in New Jersey where gasoline is now selling at $3.56 per gallon.
According to one expert, gas prices have remained stable because stations have been sourcing their product from refineries that were not hit by Hurricane Sandy.
Prices could rise in the future as several refineries were forced to temporarily shut down and infrastructure issues including closed ports and crowded highways have caused production to slip. In one case, a Gulf of Mexico oil pipeline was forced to temporarily cease operations because of a power outage.
The gas issue is compounded in areas of New York City where no power cause caused some motorists to purchase their gasoline from outlying areas, a commute for gas that has led to even further overcrowding at gas stations.