Riverdale running on empty
By Adam Wisnieski and Erin Brodwin
Want to know what’s hot this season? Gasoline.
The gas shortage in the city — caused by power outages to major supply pipelines, flooded refineries and the temporary closure of New York Harbor — has sent motorists into a frenzy to find fuel for their cars. Some drivers have been waiting endless hours at stations hoping to refill their tanks before the fuel runs out again, while others have driven on fumes to stations upstate or in Connecticut to fill their tanks. Regular drivers have been forced to find alternative modes of transportation, dusting off their bikes or riding the train for the first time in years.
Even though power returned to the Buckeye pipeline in New Jersey and tankers filled with gasoline were allowed into the city’s waterways, gas was still hard to find as of press time.
On Monday, the BP station on West 230th Street was open for business most of the day, with a line of cars stretching into Marble Hill, a hopeful sign of an end to the squeeze might be coming to an end.
But for the last week, scenes reminiscent of the early 1970s gas crisis have become commonplace.
Hundreds of cars, including many livery cabs and service trucks, have been waiting in lines at Kingsbridge and Riverdale gas stations, waiting for them to receive deliveries that run out within a few hours as news spreads that they’re open for business.
Lines started forming at local stations on Oct. 30, and many stations were completely out of gas by Halloween.
On Oct. 31, Prime, located on Broadway near Mosholu Avenue, was only selling 10 gallons per customer of 93-grade gas.
On Nov. 1, a family came to the station from East Tremont Avenue in the South Bronx for what they said was necessary fuel for work, school and other essential daily activities. But they left empty tanked.
“It’s over. That’s all. That’s the last one,” Duane Jones, who was working the pumps, hollered to his co-worker who was standing in front of a line of about 50 cars.