New York City and Long Island will begin rationing gas to relieve frustration and long lines at the pump as the region continues to recover from damage to fuel distribution caused by Sandy last week.
Mayor Bloomberg, along with Nassau and Suffolk counties, announced the emergency program would begin Friday morning. Drivers with license plates ending in an even number can purchase fuel only on even-numbered days and drivers with plates ending in an odd number can buy on odd-numbered days. Vanity plates or others without numbers will be considered odd.
The measure would continue into next week and is designed “to reduce the potential for disorder,” Bloomberg said at City Hall Thursday. Police officers would be assigned to gas stations to help keep the peace.
On Long Island, rationing begins at 5 a.m.; in New York City it starts at 6 a.m. It does not apply to emergency vehicles or taxis, officials said.
Sandy damaged ports that accept fuel tankers and flooded underground equipment that sends fuel through pipelines. Without power, fuel terminals weren’t able to pump gasoline onto tanker trucks, and gas stations couldn’t pump fuel into customers’ cars.
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