Waits for Gas Increase as Sandy Cleanup Begins

By Michelle Sartor

New Jersey residents are waiting on long lines to get gas for their vehicles and generators.

Finding gas has become a major issue in New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, both for vehicles to get around and to power generators for those that remain without power. Public transportation is resuming, but not all means are fully operational as the long cleanup process begins.

People lined up to get gas before dawn Friday at stations that were actually pumping fuel. Many gas stations in the area are either without power to pump gas or have run out of their supply.

NJ Transit announced that Northeast Corridor service has resumed from Trenton to New York on a special schedule. Other rail service remains suspended until further notice because of a power outage at NJ Transit’s rail operations center. Some bus service and light rail service has resumed as well and the transportation company is cross honoring tickets for customers. Customers with monthly passes for October will have the validity extended until Nov. 7.

PATH service remains suspended until further notice. Newark Airport is open and operational. The Hudson River crossings are open, though the Lincoln Tunnel has a requirement of at least three passengers per vehicle to enter Manhattan below 96th Street between 6 a.m. and midnight. The Holland Tunnel is open to buses only.

While many are waiting for gas or transportation, others in the state are waiting to assess damage to their homes. Devastation was severe in Seaside Heights and homeowners there still haven’t been able to reach their homes because of dangerous conditions.

Residents in Beach Haven West were able to see their homes and many found their belongings destroyed. The scene was similar in at Point Pleasant Beach. As the cleanup begins in earnest, Absecon has issued guidelines for residents and contractors to abide by.

Power outages still abound throughout New Jersey. As of early Friday morning, PSE&G reported about 716,000 customers still in the dark. JCP&L reported more than 760,000 customers without power Friday morning. Atlantic City Electric is reporting several thousand customers still without power Friday.

Residents who are looking for New Jersey specific information about the disaster can browse the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management Facebook page, which is being continuously updated with new information.

Gov. Chris Christie announced the reopening of Atlantic City Friday morning. He also lifted the mandatory evacuation order issued earlier. Casinos were allowed to reopen at 10 a.m. Friday. The boil water advisory for the city has also been lifted.

Residents who had to leave their pets behind when evacuating their homes during Hurricane Sandy now have a 24 hour hotline — 855-407-4787 — which will connect them to the Humane Society of the United States. Callers will be asked to provide information to animal rescue personnel to assist in the rescue of animals.

The state will be receiving $10 million in emergency transportation funding to assist in the repairs of bridges and roadways.

Election day is just four days away and the cleanup far from over, officials said residents will be able to cast their ballots.