Cleanup, gas rationing continue in NJ after storm

By Katie Zezima

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Nov. 4 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Some customers were even defying New Jersey's law against pumping your own gas, although Uddin said he was not granting permission to do so. "People, they don't listen," he said.

Lew Thompson of Toms River was pumping his own gas into two plastic canisters so he could power his generator.

"Makes it a little quicker," Thompson said of self-service. "Like the governor said, sometimes you've got to cut through the bureaucracy and get it done."

Lakewood is at the northern end of Ocean County, which meant gas rationing was not in effect as it was in Monmouth County, just a few miles away. Many drivers were heading south to avoid the restrictions.

"The hysteria up there is not worth it," said Bob Rooney of Red Bank.

Tony Jones of Spring Lake, where no stations are open, brought two vehicles to Lakewood to fill up Sunday. He said many people were confused by the rationing, which he thinks has been ineffectual.

"A lot of people don't even understand what odd-even is on their plates," Jones said.

But even in Lakewood, gas lines have been common.

"I sat on line an hour and a half here at this station like four days ago," said Donald Giberson, who lives nearby.

"If everyone complies with this system, it will ease lines and wait times and create a less stressful situation for everyone involved," Christie said Saturday.

Damage and power outages from the storm have made fuel delivery difficult and rendered many gas pumps inoperable. Three fuel depots have been set up in the state to provide up to 15 gallons of gas to doctors and nurses so they can get to work.

About half of the state's school districts reported they will reopen Monday.

New Jersey Transit said it would have more train and bus service restored in time for the workweek to start, and Philadelphia's transit authority loaned 31 buses that New Jersey Transit planned to use to support shuttle service for commuters traveling to New York City.

NY Waterway planned to operate normal ferry/bus service, including service from the Hoboken Rail/Ferry Terminal, starting at 6 a.m. Monday. There was to be no service from Jersey City's Port Liberte terminal, which was damaged severely.

Christie also said Election Day will go on as planned. If a polling place has no power, votes will be cast on a military truck "old school with a paper ballot," he said. He also announced New Jerseyans would be able to vote by email or fax by submitting a mail-in ballot application available on the state website to their county clerks, and returning it by the close of polls Tuesday.

"We will have a full, fair and transparent open voting process," he said.

Zezima reported from Jersey City.

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