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At the end of October 2012 Superstorm Sandy hit the US East Coast, causing severe damage in New Jersey and New York, flooding streets, knocking out power to millions of people, and disrupting the delivery of refined products to the tri-state area.
Panicking people formed queues outside of gas stations that stretched for miles, willing to wait hours in order to fill up their vehicles and any spare tanks that they had in order to run generators whilst the national grid was down.
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In some parts of New York and New Jersey the gasoline had to be rationed as locals mobbed the gas stations, desperate to secure fuel supplies, and even the emergency services began to run out of fuel.
Just four days after the storm struck the mainland, the AAA calculated that between 60% and 65% of gas stations in the tri-state region were out of service, either due to a lack of power, or lack of fuel.
In preparation to ward against such disruptions to fuel supply in the case of another hurricane in the future, the state of New York passed a law that requires nearly all gas stations on Long Island, in New York City, Westchester, and the Rockland Counties to have back-up generators installed that can provide power during an emergency. Several gas stations closed down last year, not because they had run out of fuel to sell, but because they had no power to pump the fuel out of the underground tanks.
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The second part of the state of New York’s plan to protect against fuel supply disruptions in the future, is to store 3 million gallons of fuel in an emergency reserve. On Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that his government would start a $10 million pilot program to create a Strategic Gasoline Reserve to be stored in tanks on Long Island. It will be the first ever state-based fuel reserve in the US.
Cuomo’s office explained that “gasoline from the reserve will be released to meet fuel needs while the industry recovers from a disruption in routine operations,” making “our energy infrastructure stronger and better prepared than it ever was before.”
Before the project can begin, the final contract with Northville Industries, the private company who won the contract to store the fuel at its Long Island site, must be agreed and signed.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…