15 Sep 2014
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Gas Shortage in New York City Continues

Damaged distributions centers, lack of power, as well as the closure of harbors after Sandy have left many New Yorkers dry at the pumps.

Gas Shortage in New York City Continues

Still out of luck trying to fill up your tank?

The reason for the gas shortage in New York City and Nassau County – as opposed to other areas of the state – is due to distribution centers in Brooklyn and Queens that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, according to the New York Times.

(Looking for gas right now? See our list of fuel-finding resources at the end of this article. - Ed.)

The system is a large decentralized network made up of gas stations that have different contracts with distributors to transport gasoline from regional terminals. Those terminals, then, receive and store gas deposited by barges and tankers. 

“It’s a lot of logistics behind the scenes that will determine why the shortage is better in some areas than in others,” Patrick DeHaan of Gasbuddy.com told the Times. 

According to Gasbuddy.com’s database as of Wednesday, 75 percent of New York City’s gas stations were still without gas, compared with a regional average of 24 percent.

Added to the problem are drivers who panicked at news of a gas shortage, and rushed out to stock up.

According to federal energy officials, nine of 57 petroleum terminals affected by the storm remained closed on Wednesday. Of those affected, seven are in New Jersey, one in Brooklyn and one on Long Island.

New Jersey adopted a rationing system in some counties, based on odd or even license plate numbers, which helped to control demand.

Ralph Bombardiere, executive director of the New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops, told the Times that another reason for the lack of gas, was that officials had kept New York Harbor closed for days after the storm, while barges carrying oil were unable to dock.

He cited a lack of understanding about the gas distribution system by federal and city officials as one of the main problems in dealing with the crisis.

Are you still having problems at the pump? Let your neighbors know in the comments where you’ve had luck getting gas, and where to avoid to save a trip.

Fuel-finding resources

Google Maps' " Superstorm Sandy Crisis Map" contains updated data on where to find fuel as well as many other resources. Follow this link directly to Brooklyn and Queens.

Hess Station Fuel Information: Hess is regularly updating the fuel inventory of hundreds of stations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia. The company advises drivers to hit stations reporting over 5,000 gallons of gas. 

Occupy Sandy Open Gas Station Finder: City-specific gas station information that is updated periodically. Send updates on gas station status to OccupySandy@interoccupy.net.

CT-NJ-NY-PA Open Gas Stations via Reddit: Upside, this document has all major gas companies listed. Downside, it's not clear how often the document is updated.

QueensNYC.com has an extensive list of resources.

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