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Gas Stations Come Online, But Drivers Face Long Waits

November 3, 2012

By Anthony Panissidi

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An area legislator wants to make it easier for gasoline stations to get backup generators in response to the long lines and fruitless searches New Jerseyans have endured since Hurricane Sandy caused widespread outages in the region.

State Sen. Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, announced Friday she would introduce legislation for a program that offers low-interest loans to gas stations to buy generators at a discounted bulk purchase price negotiated by the state. Her idea originated from public safety concerns and the long gas lines caused by Sandy, according to a statement.

However, a gasoline station trade group has criticized Buono`s proposal.

Since generators run on gasoline, they would not do any good in the aftermath of such a storm, since most gas stations have not been able to get gasoline to serve to customers, let alone fill their own generators, said Sal Risalvato, executive director of New Jersey Gasone-C-Store-Automotive Association.

More area gas stations started serving customers Friday after their electricity was restored. Local police said there have been few disputes on gas lines in the Shore region.

On the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike, State Police said there have not been any issues to date. State Police have been deployed at gas stations along both major roadways to monitor traffic and resolve any issues, Sgt. Brian Polite said.

In Toms River, police said they have not made any arrests for fights on their gas lines, which have been considerably long. As more gas stations regain power, that means more places available to buy gas and the gradual shrinking of lines elsewhere, Lt. Richard Ross said.

In Middletown, police said gas lines sometimes have been more than two miles long. Some minor disputes have been reported, but police have handled them quickly, Lt. Stephen Dollinger said.

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(c)2012 The AsburyUPark Press, Neptune, N.J.

Distributedby MCT Information Services

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Images: A police officer moves a car that is out of gas, trying to position it so it can fill up, at a gas station in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (Seth Wenig, AP)

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