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Fuel Shortage Fears Mount as Officials Ask Towns to Conserve

Fuel shortages could impact storm repair crews, official says. Consumers are mobbing service stations around Bergen County.

Bergen County officials are urging local governments to conserve fuel as concerns are mounting that a gasoline shortage could impact emergency services and utility repair crews responding to Sandy's devastation. 

"If we don't get fuel in a couple of days, obviously, emergency services stop and so do all the restoration people," Bergen County Emergency Management Coordinator Lt. Dwane Razzetti told officials in a Wednesday afternoon briefing. 

The county can transport limited amounts of fuel, but only for critical public safety uses, he added. Local officials can make requests through Bergen's emergency operations center. 

"Everybody is starting to run out of fuel," Razzetti said. 

The region's main ports, in Newark and Elizabeth, were not yet operational, cutting off supplies to the area, he explained. Federal and state authorities were working to get fuel flowing to the area. 

"In the coming days it's going to reverse, but until it is, conserve as much as you can," he said in a conference call. "It's going to be critical." 

Demand for consumer gasoline was also rising, with long lines snarling traffic. In Teaneck, police were called to direct traffic at two open stations on Teaneck Road.

Razzetti, a 20-year emergency management veteran, said Sandy was the worst storm he's seen. 

"I have never seen a mix of storms of this magnitude," he said. 

About 300 people were sheltered at Bergen Community College, which was running on generator power, officials said. Another 200 people from flood-wrecked Little Ferry and Moonachie were staying at the county-run Teterboro shelter. 

PSE&G was continuing restoration work in the county, although thousands remained without service. 

Tenafly Mayor Peter Rustin said although crews were out quicker after the storm, communication with local authorities remained an issue.

Power was starting to come back on in hard-hit Teaneck, but Township Councilman Elie Y. Katz said the company told him full service might not be restored for three to six days. 

PSE&G has held regular conference calls with local and elected officials. 

Price-gouging remained a concern as storm-weary locals hunted for supplies. Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan assured officials the illegal activity would be fully investigated by county inspectors. 

Fair Lawn Borough Administrator Tom Metzler said he was working to move polling places that lost power, but needed approval from the county election's superintendent. 

Donovan said officials would update towns on how to tackle election issues in a conference call Thursday. 

Chris November 01, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Typical jokers making idiotic and hateful remarks about PSE&G and tree companies. Have you even opened your eyes or ears???? This has been a storm that NONE of us have seen in our lifetime. Why don't you do something more productive with your time like volunteering to help a needy neighbor. We're all in this together. Complaining doesn't make it any better.
FairLawn Resident November 01, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Day 5 no power. Called PSEG and they said they dont even have a work order for our neighborhood. Wondering what the mayor of Fair Lawn is doing to help remedy the situation.
* November 01, 2012 at 12:53 PM
@FLRes, the Mayor is busy putting Fair Lawn 2nd while she works at the County
Jennifer November 01, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Power to most of Westwood has been restored. As well as River Vale whicb is quite shocking considering the last hurricane Westwood was without power for about 3-4 days longer than surrounding towns (hillsdale, Washington twp). Hillsdale Ave has been back up and running since around 930p Tues night yet half the side streets still remain out.
B@B November 01, 2012 at 01:32 PM
PSE&G is now saying that my power will be restored ("Tree streets" of Washington Twp.) by midnight on November 9. (!!!) And still we hear nothing from our local officials. Maybe they all went to the shore for the week.
DJoe November 01, 2012 at 01:35 PM
True I saw more trucks last year when I was living in Hackensack...I've only seen a few PSE&G trucks in New Milford.
Russell Hauptman November 01, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Power is back on at my Business on North Midland near the brick yard. The traffic lights are still out and it looks like Midland fresh also doesn't have power. Market street was backed up seemingly from Saddle River Road to Midland. The post office told me they don't know when they'll have mail next. And of course gas is still scarce. I filled up before the storm, but I really hope there's a wider availability of fuel soon. More and more people even those that prepared are going to start running out.
Jeff Wexler November 01, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Why did I get a call from Mayor LaForet yesterday saying that 700 familes in Fardale are back with power???? I live in Fardale, ran 5 miles through Fardale and no one has power. Concentrate on getting us back power not telling us we have power when there is none to be found.
Pete Boroski November 01, 2012 at 02:02 PM
personally only saw one pseg truck in fair lawn. are we the forgotten town? i called and they said earliest turn on is next friday and possibly longer. Yes, we are all lucky to be alive and not flood like the shore towns, but our town needs to be fixed too.
Jerry Gips November 01, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Very disturbing as it appears that Fair Lawn is lower priority than the more affluent towns of Glen Rock and Ridgewood.
Rich Seibel November 01, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Fair Lawn is very fortunate to have a mayor upstream at the county level at a time like this to get as many resources as possible to our community. We are also fortunate to have an experienced Deputy Mayor like John Cosgrove on deck who is more than able to handle matters of this intensity.
Joseph November 01, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Maybe because much of Fair Lawn never LOST power... my entire area never lost it.
Joseph November 01, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Gotta love people saying PSEG never does anything when close to a million people have power back... Haters gonna hate. Wah have no power, Wah. How about you take a look at how areas of Manhattan, Jersey Shore, Staten Island, etc are before you complain you don't have power. Boohoo.
PeterB November 01, 2012 at 03:42 PM
They are not repairing areas in order of affluence. Larger areas like Jersey City and Elizabeth are taking up most of the resources. Stop your complaining. They told you days before the storm this is going to take a while. What part of that did you complainers not understand? Does your house still exist? Consider your self lucky!
Lisa November 01, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Amen!
Jenne November 01, 2012 at 04:06 PM
I went out yesterday -- didn't realize the state of emergency was still on-- saw a lot of PSEG trucks in Morris/Passaic counties. Huge swaths of NJ are out, highways and all.
Jenne November 01, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Yesterday NJ 23 had no u turns for miles and miles because, apparently, 85% of the highway traffic lights were out. That area might be where they are doing the work-- I saw trucks working there, and was glad I live in Fair Lawn which got off more easily than it did during Irene and snowtober last year.
BellairBerdan November 01, 2012 at 04:23 PM
That may be fortunate for Fair Lawn but not for the other Bergen County residents our mayor serves. That is a conflict of interest.
Fair Lawn Tax Payer November 01, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Fortunate? Day 4 and not 1 emergency sevice vehicle in Fair Lawn. Nice try but you are obviously a part of the political machine that slows this country down. Lose the red tape and BS, let people that know how to get things done step in and only then will things get restored. Outside of that, this is all propoganda being force fed to all of us that pay the politicians salaries. We are not stupid nor ignorant to the fact that as we walk/ drive around our towns, that NOTHING has changed in 4 days.
Marc Debiak November 01, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Wyckoff is a very affluent town with no power and no promise of power any time soon. What's disturbing?
BADgirl November 01, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Peter you are correct, my husband was in Newark yesterday repairing power for hundreds. We were warned days in advance about the severity of this storm. Perhaps some should have been better prepared instead of complaining now how others cannot help them fast enough.
Fair Lawn Tax Payer November 01, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Joseph, do you have infants at home? Elderly on machines? Power? Circumstances that could be catastrophic without power? You are obviously the guy everyone talks about at the water cooler at work and makes fun of, but with that said, I am worried about MY situation not other towns and states. Yes we are blessed by having a home to go to but should that negate our concern for our homes and families? I know i pay my PSE&G bill every month and next months will still come in the mail regardless! I am a customer know matter what is going on in other towns. All everyone is looking for is clear information, not BS.
B@B November 01, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Fair Lawn Tax Payer: PSE&G has nothing to do with your taxes.
Fair Lawn Tax Payer November 01, 2012 at 05:25 PM
B@B, whats your point? Pse&g has nothing to do with B@B either....LOL. Its simply a username like yours.
Mamafee November 02, 2012 at 03:45 AM
I think it's awful to see lawn care services filling tanks so they can tend to someone's lawn. Really? We need the fuel to get through this, not make lawns pretty!
CaraGia November 02, 2012 at 02:51 PM
B@B FYi, I recently left NJ for Florida after living in Ramsey and Mahwah for the past 20 years and Hudson County before that. My ex's business was wiped out in Kearney from the storm and still no power or water at work or home in USR. I am not a spammer or a troll. I posted this to everyone individually, because I wasn't sure if everyone would see it if it wasn't posted as a reply to their comments. Thank you to those who found corresponding verification for the doubters above about the article I posted for all of you. Furthermore, for those who aren't familiar with my posts and comments, I DO NOT post items that are not vetted. And contrary to what many seem to rely on these days, the mainstream media is NOT what I, and many others, would continue to consider accurate and/or complete news sources. If you aren't aware of the bias in mainstream news reporting these days, you are doing yourself a great disfavor and should begin looking for new sources outside of those on the mainstream. Our more traditional sources can no longer be relied upon any further for complete or accurate information. This fact is becoming clearer and more well known on a daily basis. Do yourself a favor and seek your sources elsewhere - for a wide variety of reasons, politics (which this is, seeing as how PSE&G is one of the largest utility companies in the area) being chief among them these days.
CaraGia November 02, 2012 at 02:51 PM
They still have a service to provide and a business to run. And believe it or not, many of them are doing tree removal, as well, for their clients.
CaraGia November 02, 2012 at 02:54 PM
I also know that many in Ridgewood did NOT lose power from the storm, so if you think Ridgewood got it's power back on first because it's a town of "affluence", you would be mistaken. I have friends there who only had a momentary flash of power interruption late on Sunday evening.
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