Hurricane Sandy Update: Police are now at gas stations, continued power outages, looting, and gas rationing are all contributing to short tempers in the wake of the deadly storm.
Photo Source: Rex Features via Daily Mail
Gather.com interviewed several people that are still without power in New Jersey. The theme is consistent: stories of waiting in line for hours for gas and worse, tempers flaring at gas stations has become so common that police officers have been called to monitor the embattled gas stations. Rationing for gas is tricky, as it is used to power personal vehicles and generators. One man described an incident where he personally witnessed a man taking out a gun in one such "gas station" altercation.
The Huffington Post reports:
"The heroic rescues and caring neighborhood spirit of the storm's immediate aftermath has in some cases morphed into rudeness, heated arguments, ruthless competition and threats of violence, while struggling residents scour for everything from fuel and food to generators and space on packed public transit lines."
The personal stories seem to be far worse than what has been reported. Two out of the three people interviewed are still without power, and one had a personal generator. Those without power have the choice to hunker down in the cold or find shelter elsewhere. One man described how he started hearing the personal stories of items being looted in his neighborhood, particularly generators, about 72 hours after the storm.
One woman asked, "Why can't we all pull together?" She was referring to the arguments she witnessed at gas stations. She believes that the hurricane was the last straw as people have already been dealing with the recession.
The Daily Mail reported that at a gas station in Wall, New Jersey, Kathryn Davidson "was unaware of the start of rationing but beat the noon deadline despite a 45-minute wait in line and an even-numbered plate." She said, "There were fistfights and everything. It got nasty." The article described that the long lines led to bickering and some "even brandishing firearms." Hampton News reports that there are still millions of people without power.
The article describes one gas station:
"62 cars were lined up around the block Sunday morning even though it was closed and had no fuel. 'I heard they might be getting a delivery. So I came here and I'm waiting,' said the first driver in line, Earl Tuck. He had been there at least two hours by 9 a.m., and there was no delivery truck in sight. But he said he would stick it out."
Fox News described the scene in one church, where Roman Catholic Bishop David O'Connell assured parishioners: "There's more good, and there's more joy, and there's more happiness in life than there is the opposite. And it will be back." The article goes on to describe the work being done by local churches. One church led an effort to deliver supplies in shopping carts and even helped people clean out their houses.
The mainstream media should continue to provide Hurricane Sandy updates, as there are still many suffering and they need updates on gas rationing, etc. Hopefully, this brutal experience will lead to people recognizing the need to plan ahead. Having a generator, extra food and water, and personal protection would be very helpful to many who are still without power and supplies.