Fuel rationing in New York City

2012-11-10 12:44

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New York - New York City started rationing fuel as tempers remained short, lines remained long and panic buying continued more than 10 days after a deadly superstorm stunned the infrastructure of America's largest city.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Friday the shortages could last another couple of weeks and that only a quarter of the city's fuel stations were open. Some had no power, and others couldn't get fuel from terminals.

"This is designed to let everybody have a fair chance," Bloomberg said of the new system, based on even-numbered and odd-numbered license plates, that lets drivers fill up every other day.

However, Bloomberg's estimate was countered by the energy department, which said that more than 70% of the city's stations have fuel available for sales.

Superstorm Sandy killed more than 100 people in several states, most of them in New York and New Jersey, and its damage has been estimated at up to $50bn.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Barack Obama plans to travel to New York on Thursday to view recovery efforts and meet with affected families, local officials and first.

Obama visited New Jersey shortly after Sandy hit, but Bloomberg asked him not come to New York because a presidential visit would complicate recovery efforts in the city.

The energy department has said the superstorm also left more people in the dark than any other storm in US history. At the peak, more than 8.5 million homes and businesses across 21 states lost power.

As drivers waited on police-monitored lines for fuel, thousands more in the region got their power back for the first time since Sandy came ashore 12 days ago.

Still, nearly 400 000 customers were without power in New Jersey and the New York City area.

- AP
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