By Bill Parry
Electrical outages and dwindling supplies have closed over half of the gas stations in the city. The Gulf station at Skillman Ave. and 39th St. ran out of fuel on Wednesday at 5pm and resupply won’t occur until Tuesday at the earliest.
A worker named Radek explained that the station’s distributor is without power and is under water. “The depot is in Greenpoint [by Newtown creek] and it got flooded.”
On Saturday, federal and state authorities said that they would move more gasoline to the tri-state area. The Department of Defense will be providing tanker trucks that deliver eight million gallons– and more on the way.
However, until relief takes effect, gas lines remain a way of life for motorists and this area has become a destination because of two Hess stations.
Cars lined up on 39th Street for the Hess Station at 39-02 Queens Blvd and continued all the way across to 47th Ave. and up to 48th Street.
Marian Iacob, from Astoria, got on line at 48th St. after hearing from friends that the station was operating. “It took me three hours to move seven blocks,” she said adding that, “I’ve missed three days of work just looking for gas.”
Basar Tas, of Sunnyside, said: “I’ve waited three hours already but there’s no choice,” adding that “for all this and you only get $40 worth.”
On the other side of the station, hundreds of people waited on a line that went several blocks east on Queens Blvd. waiting to fill canisters. Dean from Astoria waited on line for two hours. “I just need enough for my car so I can find a real gas station with a proper line.”
A dozen police officers from the 108th Precinct tried to keep the peace and several said that pushing and shoving had broken out several times throughout the afternoon.
The same scenario played out at the Hess Station at Northern Blvd. with the gas line backing up 39th Street and east on Skillman Ave. and up on to 43rd Street. Karen from Glendale saw a line and jumped on it, “I don’t even know what station I’m waiting for. If I get $20 worth I’ll be happy, I’m not greedy.”
Yellow cabs made up a large percentage of waiting cars.
“The cab companies are out of gas so we have to fend for ourselves,” said Mohmmad Sarder of Woodside. “I’ve waited four hours just to fill the tank for the guy on the next shift. Hopefully he’ll refill it or I’ll be miserable tomorrow.”