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Guns Drawn at the Gas Pumps, Massive Lines in the Middle of the Night

Gas stations have become battlegrounds as the  fuel shortage intensifies in the tri-state area, with drivers taking guns to the pumps and pulling  out knives at they vie to fill their tanks.

Police and state troopers have been dispatched to deal with arguments and  fist-fights at stations along the New Jersey turnpike, and the knock-on effects  are growing.

Many pumps are out of action because of power  shortages caused by Superstorm Sandy tearing its way through the North East of  the U.S.

Those still working have long lines  stretching down the road, with drivers stockpiling fuel, unable to rely on a  public transport system flooded and torn apart by the freak weather.

Motorist Sean Bailey, 35, was arrested after  he tried to cut in line at a gas station in Queens early Thursday and pointed a  pistol at another motorist who complained.

Bailey, of Queens, was arrested on charges of  menacing and criminal possession of a weapon, Queens  District Attorney Richard Brown told CBS.

He could face 15 years in prison if  convicted. It is not yet clear whether he has a lawyer.

New Yorkers had been using yellow cabs to get  around after Mayor Michael Bloomberg sanctioned   them to pick up multiple passengers.

But taxis are not exempt from the fuel  crisis, and city dwellers’ travel options are looking fewer by the  day.

‘Gas is like gold’ has become an oft-repeated  phrase on on Twitter, with one young woman saying she would only be using her  car to get to work.

Another tweeted that the Hess gas station in  Long Island City had closed because of fighting.

‘People are pulling guns’, another user  wrote, with others tweeting pictures of long lines at gas stations or reporting  fighting before their precious cell phone batteries ran out.

Patrick DeHaan, a senior analyst at  Gasbuddy.com, told Forbes that there was no shortage of fuel.

One problem is that some gas  stations have  no power to pump the fuel, while others where the pumps  worked were running out  as word spread among motorists.

Throughout New York, New Jersey, and  Connecticut, gas is running out, and many stations within the city are  additionally crippled, as they have no power.

Hundreds of people in need of petrol have  queued up in hopes of buying as many gallons as possible.

Fuel supplies into the tri-state area were  being choked off in several ways.

Two refineries that make up a quarter of the  region’s refining capacity are still idle due to power outages or flooding; the New  York Harbor waterway that  imports a fifth of the area’s fuel is still  closed to traffic, and major import  terminals are damaged and powerless.

Those in New Jersey who already received the  brunt of Sandy’s force formed  increasingly long lines at the pumps, toting red  plastic fuel canisters.

Many in the state need the gas for both their  cars and to heat their homes, FoxNews.com reported.

Jim Gannon, of the Transport of Workers Union  Local 100, told MailOnline that there were ‘concerns’ over the ability of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation  Authority (MTA) ability to keep its buses  on the road.

‘Every depot has its own gas tank,  and a  portion of the fleet runs on compressed national gas.’ But, he  said, it is  unclear how long the MTA’s fuel reserve will last.

‘Obviously, it won’t last forever,’ he said,  adding that he knows the public transit system has enough to  last them for  tomorrow at least.

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Posted by on November 2, 2012. Filed under NY News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.