A generator, Watt said, would not only be required to power gasoline pumps, but fire suppression systems, computer systems and refrigerators. Additionally, owners would have to pay electricians to configure and maintain the generator, and also shell money for insurance and inspection fees. “You’re looking at about a $40,000 investment that will only pay off if there’s another major storm,” he said.
“It’s not good for the consumer because the money has to be made up somewhere, so the price [of gasoline] is going to go up,” Watt added.
One of the major causes of the long fuel lines, said Watt, was the Long Island Power Authority’s failure to prioritize service stations when restoring power to the island. In the event of another storm, key gas stations along major thoroughfares should be prioritized, he said, which would mitigate extended lines. “Right off the bat you’re eliminating the need for the generators if you make restoring power to the main gas stations a priority,” Watt said, adding that generators at service stations in low-lying areas in the south shore would likely be damaged by storm surges in the event of a storm.
“None of our members want to be out of business,” said Watt. “But to spend all that money on something they most likely are not going to need, it’s very problematic.”