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Frustration Over Fuel at a Premium

With most still without power in Ridgewood and Glen Rock, lines stretch miles near gas stations. Police are directing traffic as tensions build.

Some honk. Some wait patiently. Others snap at drivers snaking in front of them as the line grows inch-by-inch, mile-by-mile. It's not uncommon to see particular hand gestures or an errant curse word.

"It speaks for itself," a gas station attendant at the Exxon at Godwin Avenue tells me. "What happens happens."

The line of cars extends from the light on Lincoln Avenue down past the Whole Foods. That's close to a mile. Most wait about 45 minutes for the chance to fuel up.

Police – many of whom haven't had a day off in a week – direct traffic.

"I've never seen anything like this," one officer said. "It's like this everywhere."

He was partially right.

"There's nothing in Morris County," Vicki Harty says, filling up two cherry red gasoline containers for her car and her generator. "I have no power, no food, no water."

Like hundreds of others, Harty, who works at a salon in town, heard there was fuel in Ridgewood and made the journey.

The fuel should keep flowing into gas tanks for as long as authorities allow it at the Godwin Exxon.

Despite the long lines, frustration and overall tumult, Harty has much to be thankful for.

"I'm alive, my house is fine and everyone inside is safe," she said, shuffling off.

Another driver, however, was clearly more annoyed as she waited in line with her young son.

"I've been on this line for nearly a half hour and it seems like it's barely moved," the motorist said. "At this rate, I might run out of gas before I get to the station."

The situation was somewhat unusual in neighboring Wyckoff.

Commiteeman Kevin Rooney, who said he owns 5 gas stations around town, said that many refineries had taken on water, and fuel supplies were an unknown quantity to gas sellers around the state.

As of Thursday afternoon he was allowing only Wyckoff residents with proof of residency to fill up gas cans for their generators, not for vehicles, and had put a max at 10 gallons per family. 

"The gas wouldn't last otherwise," he said.

Incomplete list of what stations are open

Residents in the area tell Patch the Hess gas station on Goffle Road is open, though with lines up to an hour. The story is much the same at the South Maple Exxon in Glen Rock by Highwood Avenue.

The stations along Route 17 also are backed up considerably but open. 

Sources tell Patch a tanker is scheduled to arrive at the Getty Station on Walnut Street in Ridgewood sometime Thursday. 

The Lukoil at Pasack Road in Park Ridge has gas and while the line is long, it isn't two hours deep, a resident tells Patch. The Getty on Myrtle Avenue in Allendale also has gas, a tipster told Patch. Ditto the Gulf Station in Waldwick by Franklin Turnpike.

Joseph M. Gerace contributed reporting to this article.

What's your experience been getting gas?

James Kleimann November 01, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Update: The line is much shorter now at the Exxon on Godwin next to Mac Murphys. I'd say about 25 minutes. It's now down from Doremus to the station. Way better than Lincoln.
James Jr. November 02, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Are these gas stations paying for the extra police security and traffic control? I would rather have that presence around the multitude of hazards that are still existing around the area.

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