NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — We are now in the midst of hurricane season, but 4 years after Sandy — are we ready?
New York state is now dedicating millions of dollars to provide generators to gas stations.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, drivers hope that means no more nightmarish lines if we once again lose power.
Armando Gonzales was filling up on Wednesday, and recalled the panic wrought by Superstorm Sandy. There was anger that led to fist fights, police tried to calm tensions as strangers battled over the last drops of gasoline.
“My wife and I ended up having to sleep outside a gas station to get gas one night,” he said.
Some hoarded, others scalped, and lines stretched for miles.
Gas station owners like Gene Spelman were left feeling vulnerable.
“As for what happened in Sandy, I had plenty of product, but no electricity,” he said, “After 3 days I had electricity. We pumped out, couldn’t get any more product. They shut the harbor down.”
Now, Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to ensure that along the hurricane evacuation route strategically located gas stations with at least four pumps are operational and able to provide gas to first responders.
The state has awarded a $12-million grant to help pay for backup generators and transfer switches.
“I will insure it, maintain it, take care of it, and hope I don’t have to use it,” Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association, Chairman, Andy Harris said.
Some question the need when such a storm can be a once in a lifetime occurrence, still many consumers welcomed the backup.
“So much havoc all around, we don’t want another panic when we want to get out, we want to get out,” Rosie Wadhwani said.
Sandy’s wrath damaged pipelines, refineries, and terminals.
“And June1, started hurricane season, so we are directly in the time where these generators could possibly be needed,” AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair said, “So it is good to hear this grant is coming through.”
Some experts said even with backup generators hurricanes still pose a threat to our waterside gasoline terminals which remain vulnerable to storm surges.