(NEW YORK) — Now that the clouds have cleared and the lights have come back on for many New Yorkers, New York and New Jersey wait patiently for fuel as the region takes steps to move forward in wake of Superstorm Sandy.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told New Yorkers that “help is on the way.” Cuomo said in a news conference Saturday morning that about 8 million gallons of fuel have been delivered and about another 28 million is on the way.
“Do not panic. I know there is anxiety about fuel….The situation has been remedied. Gas stations will be getting fuel,” Cuomo said.
Mobile fuel stations set up by the Department of Defense will also used to distribute free gas in the metro New York area. There will be a 10-gallon limit per person.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed an executive order Friday night to ration gasoline for cars in 12 New Jersey counties, after more than half the stations in New Jersey and Long Island shut down because of the storm, resulting in hours-long lines for customers and threatening a gas shortage. Under Christie’s order, car owners with odd numbered license plates can get gas on odd days, and car owners with even numbered license plates can get gasoline on even days.
“This system will ease the strain on those gas stations still operating, while we work to bring more online for the public to access fuel, in a manner that is fair, easy to understand, and less stressful,” Christie said.
Some gas stations already sold out, while others have the fuel but no power to pump it.
For JoAnne Hughes, who waited in line Friday afternoon, too much time could mean not seeing her father before he undergoes an emergency bypass at a hospital 40 miles away.
“His surgery is at 2 p.m.,” she said. “That gives me about two hours to get gas. I hope I make it.” She’d already waited at least 40 minutes, and said she had no idea how long it could be.
In addition to New Jersey shortages, two-thirds of gas stations in the New York metro area are out of gas, too.
On Saturday morning, during a FEMA briefing with governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, President Obama said “we still have a long way to go” but everyone is putting in “120 percent” effort.
“We don’t have patience for bureaucracy. We don’t have patience for red tape,” Obama said.
The president listed the five steps currently being taken: restoring power, pumping out water from flooded areas, making sure people’s needs are being taken care of, removing debris and getting National Guard in place.
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