Wednesday, December 24, 2014


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NY1 examines the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the anniversary of the storm.

All Boroughs

Sandy One Year Later: Getting Gas In Storm's Aftermath Proved Chaotic

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After Hurricane Sandy, some waited for hours just to be turned away from the gas line. NY1's Arlene Borenstein takes a look back at the city's gas crisis after the storm, the failures, and what's in our future.

For New Yorkers in the days after Hurricane Sandy, long lines at the pump meant a shortage of gas and patience.

It was near chaos at gas stations across the five boroughs. Some skipped the car altogether in search of a fill-up.

"I'm giving up," one person said at the time. "The line for just people with gas containers is about four blocks long."

Officials with AAA said that the city's response was a total failure.

"There was so many things that went wrong, as far as the storm was concerned," said Robert Sinclair Jr., manager of media relations at AAA New York.

Sinclair points to several issues that led to the post-Hurricane Sandy gas crisis, one of them being the outdated infrastructure of waterside petroleum terminals throughout New York and New Jersey. He said it's where delivery trucks pick up 90 percent of their gas.

Eight of the terminals shut down in the storm, and Sinclair said that most of them are still vulnerable.

"We've seen probably only one or two of these waterside terminals that were knocked out institute some sort of mitigation process to be able to deal with another storm."

Officials with AAA said that New Jersey did a much better job fueling up, implementing odd-even rationing days before the city did.

Sinclair said that a lack of generators at gas stations without power also posed a major problem, but he said that that's expected to change next April with new state legislation.

"Gasoline stations within a quarter-mile of an evacuation road or exit have to be pre-wired and have generators in order to have electricity in the event of another storm," he said.

City officials said they've learned from the experience.

"We're working with the National Guard and the Defense Logistics Agency to make sure that we can get fuel in the city even more quickly than we did, and we have the emergency contracts in place to make sure city vehicles get the fuel they need to do recovery," said Cas Holloway, deputy mayor of operations.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also announced that 3 million gallons of emergency fuel will be held in reserve on Long Island, to be used if, or when, the area faces another storm like Sandy. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP