Gas is scarce, lines are long in New Jersey

People line up to fill gas containers at the New Jersey Turnpike's Thomas A. Edison service area Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, near Woodbridge, N.J. After Monday's storm surge from Sandy, many gas stations in the region are without power and those that are open have very long lines. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

November 1, 2012 4:51:49 AM PDT
It's starting to feel like the 1970s in New Jersey, only without the disco soundtrack and pet rocks.

Lines at the pumps reminiscent of the early '70s gas shortages have sprung up around the state in the aftermath of the superstorm that knocked out power to more than 2 million utility customers.

Many of the affected businesses were gas stations, and the pumps that were open were attracting plenty of attention Wednesday.

By 8 a.m., cars were lined up a quarter-mile on Route 46 in Fairfield at one station. On the Garden State Parkway, motorists backed up for miles for gasoline at a service area in Wall Township. State Police Sgt. Brian Polite said the wait was about an hour, and state troopers were on hand to keep an eye on traffic.

By early afternoon, cars were lined up for a half-mile at the Thomas Edison service area on the southbound New Jersey Turnpike while a service area on the northbound side remained closed.

Elsewhere, tempers were starting to fray.

Darryl Jameson, of Toms River, waited for more than an hour Wednesday morning to get fuel at one of the few gasoline stations open in Ocean County. He was hoping to fill up his car's tank and some gas cans so he could keep his generator running.

"This is just messed up, and I don't mean the waiting for gas part. I expected long lines here, as I'm sure most people did," Jameson said. "The messed up part is these people who are blocking the roadway as they try to cut in line to get to the pumps. No one likes waiting, man, but it's something you have to do, especially in a situation like this."

As he spoke, Jameson pointed to numerous vehicles that were backed up for about 2 miles along one of the two westbound lanes of Route 70.

"We're here on the shoulder, so we're not blocking anyone, but these people are and don't seem to care who they inconvenience. An ambulance came flying by before, and some folks wouldn't get out of its way. I just don't get it."

Another driver, Karen Jackson, of Lakehurst, said she was hoping to get gas but decided she could wait until later in the day.

"I have enough to get around for a few days, and people are starting to yell at each other, so this isn't the place I want to be," she said.

Associated Press writer David Porter in Fairfield contributed to this story.

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