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Gas rationing, shortage fray nerves in New York

NEW YORK — A gasoline shortage caused by Hurricane Sandy forced 1970s-era rationing on New Yorkers on Friday, adding a fuel-gauge obsession to their frayed nerves and dwindling patience.

As drivers waited in police-monitored lines, thousands more in the region got their power back for the first time since Sandy came ashore 12 days ago. More than 420,000 customers were still without power in New Jersey and the New York City area. President Barack Obama, who visited the battered Jersey coast two days after the storm, said he will survey the damage in New York next week. The American Red Cross said the storm prompted its largest U.S. relief effort since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The gasoline rationing — the first in the nation's largest city since the 1970s Arab oil embargo — forced motorists to line up depending on whether their license plates end with odd or even numbers.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said one-third of the city's gas stations were open Friday.

Some storm help not so helpful

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. — Hurricane Sandy has brought out generosity far and wide. And while the response is heartwarming, some of it is also helping create a "second disaster after the disaster." Relief groups need very specific things, along with cash and organization. Instead, some are getting vases and vacuum cleaners, or interference from volunteers who think they're helping but are just hindering efforts. "It's really been a lot of stuff really affecting the disaster site," said James McGowan, the associate director of partnerships for the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, who made the "second disaster" analogy. "They're just showing up, and they're not coordinated with the agencies."

Associated Press

Gas rationing, shortage fray nerves in New York 11/09/12 [Last modified: Friday, November 9, 2012 9:50pm]
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