New York begin gas rationing as Nor’easter dumps snow and delays recovery

Raquel Erhard – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York City, NY, United States (4E) – Officials declared gasoline rationing to New York City and Long Island motorists starting Friday, after a nor’easter brought snow, adding to the problems of a region still struggling with the damage from last week’s Superstorm Sandy.

According to an order issued by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, private car owners are restricted to purchasing fuel for their vehicles on either odd- or even-numbered days, depending on their license numbers and only commercial vehicles are exempted from the order.

New York, together with Nassau and Suffolk counties, joined New Jersey today when the order using the odd-even system for tanking based on license plate numbers take effect.

Bloomberg said Thursday that there will be possible shortages for another couple of weeks and “the best way to cut down the lines and help customers buy gas faster, to help gas stations stay open longer and to reduce the potential for disorder, is to alternate the days that drivers can purchase gas.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the Queens Midtown Tunnel is to reopen today after being flooded by Sandy while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced New York City’s L subway line running along Manhattan’s 14th Street into Brooklyn has resumed operations.

New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie revealed the state offers free shuttle buses to the Weehawken Ferry Terminal for trips to Manhattan, to assist commuters who use northern New Jersey train lines that remain out of service.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of residents remain without electricity across the region, most of them in New York and New Jersey, and the nor’easter that dumped snow in the area Wednesday resulted to more power outages.

The nor’easter struck the region nine days after Sandy battered the East Coast. The superstorm has displaced thousands of residents, disabled mass transit, and caused power outage to more than 8.5 million customers in 21 states and left more than 100, 42 deaths in New York City alone.

Most schools started class yesterday as New Jersey and New York City struggled to return to normal.

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