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Top Stories 2012: Gas Shortages Hit Yonkers

A gas shortage in early November created a headache for motorists, many of whom waited in lines as long as two hours to fill up.
A gas shortage in early November created a headache for motorists, many of whom waited in lines as long as two hours to fill up. Photo Credit: Matt Bultman

YONKERS, N.Y. – As the end of 2012 nears, The Yonkers Daily Voice is taking a look back at some of the year's biggest stories.

As if Hurricane Sandy hadn’t wreaked enough havoc in Yonkers, the aftermath of the storm crippled the city’s gas supply for nearly a week.

A number of stations throughout Yonkers shut down in early November, either because of depleted fuel supplies or a lack of power. Those that remained open dealt with lines that stretched around the block as drivers waited as long as two hours to fill up their cars.

But it wasn’t just Yonkers where gas was at a premium. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that by Nov. 3, two-thirds of gas stations in the New York metropolitan area either did not have gas or did not have power to pump gas.

That meant many who were filling up in Yonkers came from New York City and New Jersey, where gas was even tougher to come by. Nearly everyone agreed it was no easy task finding a pump that was open.

“I didn’t realize it was this bad,” Bronx resident Shawna Baker said at the time. “I was in for a rude awakening.”

State and county officials urged residents not to panic, saying it only furthered issues with fuel delivery and distribution. Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, hoping to keep some of the city’s gas supply in place, eventually signed an executive order that limited drivers to 10 gallons of gas per visit.

As a result, tempers ran high among motorists racing to gas up. There was even a fistfight between drivers at a Getty station on Nepperhan Avenue.  Eventually, city officials deployed police personnel to handle the long lines.

Drivers weren’t the only ones fed-up with the mess. Station owners said the shortage created a headache for them as well.

“I don’t want to see this,” said John Albano, owner of a Mobil Station on Yonkers Avenue. “This is terrible.”

Finally, after nearly a week, gas supplies began to return to normal and stations slowly began to re-open for good.

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