Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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November 9, 2012

Story and Video: Gas rationing begins in NY

(Continued)

The mounting criticism of utility companies came as the Federal Emergency Management Agency started bringing mobile homes into the region and Cuomo said the storm could cost New York State alone $33 billion.

New Jersey did not have a damage estimate of its own, but others have put Sandy's overall toll at up to $50 billion, making it the second most expensive storm in U.S. history, behind Hurricane Katrina, which swamped New Orleans in 2005.

In New Jersey, where officials made the move nearly a week ago to institute gas rationing, price-gouging lawsuits have been filed against seven stations. They raised pump prices anywhere from 17 to 59 percent higher during the state of emergency related to the storm, Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said Friday.

Officials in charge of rationing said something had to be done to ease long waits for fuel, which they say has caused panic-buying and hoarding. The system took effect at 5 a.m. Friday on Long Island and at 6 a.m. in New York City.

Gas is available to drivers with license-plate numbers ending in an odd number or a letter on Friday. On Saturday, drivers with license plates that end in even numbers or zero can fuel up.

Buses, taxes and limousines, commercial vehicles and emergency vehicles are exempt from the plan, as are people carrying portable gas cans. Vanity plates that don't have numbers are considered odd-numbered plates. Out-of-state drivers are also subject to the system.

Bloomberg said the shortages could last another couple of weeks.

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Gormley reported from Albany, N.Y. Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Frank Eltman in Garden City, N.Y., and Colleen Long in New York City.

 

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