Gas Rationing To Start In N.Y. And N.J.

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(CNN) — For those in the New York area suffering not only from the devastating storms but also from gas lines that have lasted longer than a work shift, some relief is on the way Friday.

Leaders announced gas rationing in parts of New York and New Jersey in an effort to address the gas shortage brought on by the one-two punch of Superstorm Sandy and this week’s nor’easter.

“Drivers are still facing long lines, frustrations are only growing and it now appears that there will be shortages for possibly another couple of weeks,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters Thursday afternoon. “The best way, we think, to cut down the lines and help customers buy gas faster, to help gas stations stay open longer and to reduce the potential for disorder, is to alternate the days that drivers can purchase gas.”

The move brought applause from many.

“I think it will make the lines go down,” Sue Powers of Long Island told CNN affiliate NY1. “Waiting on line here for eight and a half hours is not fun.”

“It is smart because the lines will be half as long,” New Yorker Ryan Schroeder told the affiliate. “But if it is an emergency and you need gas on a certain day you may be out of luck but for your average person it may be smart.”

New Jersey, where Sandy made landfall October 29, put similar rules into effect last week in 12 counties.

Hundreds of thousands of customers were without electricity across the region, most of them in New York and New Jersey, with the nor’easter that swept through Wednesday only adding to those totals.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told reporters Thursday morning that the nor’easter was responsible for 167,000 new outages, but praised utility workers who were trying to get the lights and heat back on.

“These men and women on the utility companies are working 16-hour days, every day,” Christie said. “So I know that unless your power is turned on, that doesn’t mean anything to you — but I’m telling you, I’ve watched these people work. They were working last night through the snow.”

Along with the relief from gas lines, many may get a break from the recent snowstorm that blanketed the area.

Temperatures were expected to rise to 50 degrees on Friday and continue to rise close to the 60s over the weekend, forecasters said.
By the CNN Wire Staff
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