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Fuel Shortage Fears Mount as Officials Ask Towns to Conserve

Fuel shortages could impact storm repair crews, official says. Consumers are mobbing service stations around Bergen County.

Bergen County officials are urging local governments to conserve fuel as concerns are mounting that a gasoline shortage could impact emergency services and utility repair crews responding to Sandy's devastation. 

"If we don't get fuel in a couple of days, obviously, emergency services stop and so do all the restoration people," Bergen County Emergency Management Coordinator Lt. Dwane Razzetti told officials in a Wednesday afternoon briefing. 

The county can transport limited amounts of fuel, but only for critical public safety uses, he added. Local officials can make requests through Bergen's emergency operations center. 

"Everybody is starting to run out of fuel," Razzetti said. 

The region's main ports, in Newark and Elizabeth, were not yet operational, cutting off supplies to the area, he explained. Federal and state authorities were working to get fuel flowing to the area. 

"In the coming days it's going to reverse, but until it is, conserve as much as you can," he said in a conference call. "It's going to be critical." 

Demand for consumer gasoline was also rising, with long lines snarling traffic. In Teaneck, police were called to direct traffic at two open stations on Teaneck Road.

Razzetti, a 20-year emergency management veteran, said Sandy was the worst storm he's seen. 

"I have never seen a mix of storms of this magnitude," he said. 

About 300 people were sheltered at Bergen Community College, which was running on generator power, officials said. Another 200 people from flood-wrecked Little Ferry and Moonachie were staying at the county-run Teterboro shelter. 

PSE&G was continuing restoration work in the county, although thousands remained without service. 

Tenafly Mayor Peter Rustin said although crews were out quicker after the storm, communication with local authorities remained an issue.

Power was starting to come back on in hard-hit Teaneck, but Township Councilman Elie Y. Katz said the company told him full service might not be restored for three to six days. 

PSE&G has held regular conference calls with local and elected officials. 

Price-gouging remained a concern as storm-weary locals hunted for supplies. Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan assured officials the illegal activity would be fully investigated by county inspectors. 

Fair Lawn Borough Administrator Tom Metzler said he was working to move polling places that lost power, but needed approval from the county election's superintendent. 

Donovan said officials would update towns on how to tackle election issues in a conference call Thursday. 

CaraGia November 02, 2012 at 02:51 PM
B@B FYi, I recently left NJ for Florida after living in Ramsey and Mahwah for the past 20 years and Hudson County before that. My ex's business was wiped out in Kearney from the storm and still no power or water at work or home in USR. I am not a spammer or a troll. I posted this to everyone individually, because I wasn't sure if everyone would see it if it wasn't posted as a reply to their comments. Thank you to those who found corresponding verification for the doubters above about the article I posted for all of you. Furthermore, for those who aren't familiar with my posts and comments, I DO NOT post items that are not vetted. And contrary to what many seem to rely on these days, the mainstream media is NOT what I, and many others, would continue to consider accurate and/or complete news sources. If you aren't aware of the bias in mainstream news reporting these days, you are doing yourself a great disfavor and should begin looking for new sources outside of those on the mainstream. Our more traditional sources can no longer be relied upon any further for complete or accurate information. This fact is becoming clearer and more well known on a daily basis. Do yourself a favor and seek your sources elsewhere - for a wide variety of reasons, politics (which this is, seeing as how PSE&G is one of the largest utility companies in the area) being chief among them these days.
CaraGia November 02, 2012 at 02:51 PM
They still have a service to provide and a business to run. And believe it or not, many of them are doing tree removal, as well, for their clients.
CaraGia November 02, 2012 at 02:54 PM
I also know that many in Ridgewood did NOT lose power from the storm, so if you think Ridgewood got it's power back on first because it's a town of "affluence", you would be mistaken. I have friends there who only had a momentary flash of power interruption late on Sunday evening.
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