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Gas Rationing In Effect As New Jersey Deals With Sandy’s Aftermath

Gas Line in Manalapan, New Jersey (credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Gas Line in Manalapan, New Jersey (credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

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Superstorm Sandy

BLOOMFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) - If you’re planning to line up for gas Saturday, you had better check your license plate first.

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith On The Story

New Jersey has moved to an odd-even gas rationing system in 12 counties. It started at noon.

Gov. Chris Christie ordered the system late Friday.

He says it will help ease fuel shortages and extended lines for gasoline that have occurred since Superstorm Sandy decimated the coast.

Drivers with license plates ending in an even number will be allowed to buy gas on even-numbered days, and those with plates ending in an odd number can make gas purchases on odd-numbered days.

Vanity plates and others ending in letters are considered odd-number plates.

Christie said that there are no restrictions on filling gas containers.

The order affects Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Monmouth, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reported at Petroleum Paradise is located on Route 17 on the Ramsey-Mahwah border, where half a dozen stations always seem to be open. The lines were not quite as long as gas stations on the Turnpike or the Parkway.

1010 WINS’ John Montone

Claudia Morgan of Ramsey was on the Hess line, where she wondered whether her “HOYAS” license plate would be classified as odd or even under the rationing rule. It turned out to be odd.

While Montone waited 90 minutes, some waited far longer and became frustrated.

“It’s so crazy,” she said. “Four hours waiting for that.”

There was a real communal aspect to the gas lines, even if a woman in a Ford 150 pickup truck cut in front of Montone while he was interviewing another driver.

Earlier, CBS2’s Weijia Jiang reported from Bloomfield on Saturday morning that there was at least a two-mile line for gas there.

She interviewed one driver at 6:33 a.m. who had been there waiting since 1 a.m. to get make sure he got gas.

If you know a station that has gas, please share it below.