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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Merrick residents waited up to six hours to retrieve gas from a Hess station on Sunrise Highway and Hewlett Avenue on Nov. 1.
Sandy's Aftermath
Gas relief may be coming to Long Island
Officials warn to be weary of price gouging
By David Weingrad
Andrew Hackmack/Herald
People lined up to get gas along Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream on Nov. 1.

Nassau County residents in dire need of gasoline may be seeing some relief over the coming days. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that he has signed an Executive Order to allow distributors to transport gasoline, diesel and kerosene into New York without having to meet the usual registration requirements.

According to a release from the governor, transporters and distributors must be registered with the State Department of Taxation and Finance. The Executive Order would temporarily suspend those registration requirements, and could help alleviate the gas shortages across the state, Cuomo said.

As of Friday, many gas stations across Nassau County are without gasoline. The few that do have gasoline have lines that range from dozens to hundreds of cars or people with gas cans. “This Executive Order will allow distributors and transporters to bring gas into our state to fill shortages now so that New Yorkers can get to their jobs, families and homes as soon as possible,” Cuomo said.

On his Twitter account, around noon, Cuomo said that 200 million gallons of gasoline was offloaded into Newburgh, in upstate N.Y.

The United States Coast Guard issued a press release at noon on Friday, offering updates on the status of New York and New Jersey ports and waterways. The release said that ferry and taxi services are operational on the Hudson and East Rivers, and that the Hudson River is now open to all vessel traffic.

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said now that New York waterways have opened, he is calling upon the Long Island Power Authority to prioritize restoring power to gas stations in order to help alleviate the gas shortage plaguing Long Island. "According to the gas retailers and local officials I’ve been speaking to," Schumer said, "there are still many gas stations with available supply sitting without power. We are currently in a gas crisis and LIPA needs to add stations with available supply to its priority list immediately."

Another concern regarding gasoline shortages is the process of price gouging, which is when businesses exploit emergency situations by charging excessive prices for vital consumer commodities, such as gasoline.

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