At midnight on Saturday morning, gas rationing on Long Island came to a halt, ending two-weeks’ worth of mile or longer gas lines in the wake of Hurricane Sandy which had crippled supply lines to the region amid increased demand from the public that resulted in people standing in the cold with red cans for only a few gallons.
With the gas lines ending almost immediately after rationing began many wondered why the government had not acted sooner.
Many customers at the Sunoco in Mineola felt similarly with the risk for rapid inflation gone by the time rationing was imposed.
“It’s better now that we can get around; I stayed local,” said Michelle Patel who takes the LIRR to work.
Meanwhile, Rajesh Kumar, 39, was stranded in Manhattan unable to see his girlfriend on Long Island. Without electricity and several feet of water in the basement of his building, he desperately sought to escape the city for a few days.
“I didn’t drive during the hurricane with the lines so long, especially if it wasn’t necessary,” he said.
With rationing still in effect in New York City, he planned on filling up on Long Island before heading home.
“There’s no rush now,” he said.
Patty Burke, a partner at in Mineola, said “it helped you realize how wasteful you can be and it should be a good lesson to all of us moving forward. A big wake up call.”
With her three high school-aged children in mind she hoped it would influence and raise a smarter generation who would take a more resourceful approach towards energy.
“It affected the rebuilding process as well and it was not solely gas affected either,” she said, referring to the damage to both electrical and natural gas lines.
While Edwin Perez’s Hempstead-based Latino Taxi was considered public transportation and not subject to rationing, he said the government “should have lifted it last week. For the regular costumer it was hard.”