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Gas Lines Cause Frustration in Bloomingdale

Motorists travel from out of town to wait for hours at the pump.

One line was for cars. One line was for gas containers. But gas containers could not be filled at the same time as cars.

That was the system worked out by employees of the Bloomingdale Getty gas station, on Main Street, Thursday evening. A system many motorists painfully learned after already waiting more than two hours to have their vehicles filled and then being told they would have to wait on a separate line to get enough gas to keep their generators going.

One of the effects of Tropical Storm Sandy sweeping through New Jersey, bringing down power lines and trees and leaving tri-boro residents in the dark for days, seems to have been unusually long lines at the pumps. Some residents are simply trying to gas up their cars while others are filling red containers to bring home.

The line of cars stretched all the way to the Bloomingdale Self-Serve Car Wash Thursday night, but the line of people seemed to be contained in the parking lot around 6 p.m. Joan Vansplinter, 61, of Pompton Lakes, waited in both lines and said the line to fill the red container was much shorter. Vansplinter, who waited nearly four hours combined at the gas station, described the long lines as "crazy."

"It's like it's the '70s again," she said.

Vansplinter recalled a summer where long lines took over the gas stations nearly every weekend. Tom Jeron, 43, also a Pompton Lakes resident described Thursday similarly. Jeron also spent time on both lines, but had the opposite observation from Vansplinter.

"So far, it seems like the car line moves quicker," he joked.

Jeron filled a truck with gas and two containers for his generator. He said no gas stations were open in Pompton Lakes or even on the way to Bloomingdale, with the exception of one Riverdale station. He waited for more than three hours combined at the Bloomingdale gas station.

Dan Ketterrer, 25, of Lincoln Park, did not wait on both lines and was not filling up a vehicle or a container for a generator. He was not filling up anything, in fact, but stood in line with his friends from Butler as they waited to fill containers. Ketterer's power had also been out for days, but he said he has been keeping busy.

"I'm actually doing yardwork," he said.

Ketterer said the effects of the storm have been interesting, but that they could have been worse.

"I'm just glad it didn't flood," he said.

Other patrons in the line were less happy about the storm and the lines at the pump.

"I think it's insane," one man said. "Officials should have been better prepared."

Read more Tri-Boro Patch coverage of Tropical Storm Sandy here.

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What do you think about the long lines at the pump? Tell us in the comments.

Mb November 02, 2012 at 02:52 AM
I was really mad that I had to wait over two and a half hours to fill up o e car and was told when I got to the pump that there was a separate line for gas cans. They should have had a sign leading up to the gas station explaining this. I would have gotten out of the car earlier since I was the passenger to wait in the gas can line. Over all a completely stupid system.
Frazzled Dee November 02, 2012 at 03:02 AM
It would be nice if this rallied a wake up call for everyone . Fossil fuel is a limited resource, in plain English the worlds supply will dwindle and shortages will be regular thing unless we get a head start to get off the dinosaur. But , drill baby drill sounds better, after all ; the vendors of this fossil heavily influence our government and media. Dont forget a barrel of crude made in the N America or Middle East is sold on the world market and goes to the highest bidder .
Mick Mouse November 02, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Officials should have been better prepared? Sir are you a child? Is the official your mommy? Grow up any lead not whine. Something to think about at the voting booths.
Bobby L November 02, 2012 at 11:01 AM
How come Gov. Big Mouth is not "taking charge" and making "Odd and Even" days mandatory until we get back on track with power and fuel deliveries? This should be done ASAP! and priority needs to be getting fuel deliveries into NJ again. No word was said about this when "Barry" was here the other day.
Mr. Tom Fox November 02, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Do you reallty think that people would wait for "their day" be it an odd day or an even gas day when their generator runs out of gas and their family is home freezing with the temperature going down to the 30s at night? Get real! The thing we need to do is realize that this IS a wake-up call and we need to do not one but multiple things to prevent this from becoming "the norm" in our future. We need to "Drill baby drill" as one poster has put it and we really need to get moving with the off shore wind fields that the politicians talk and talk and talk about. We also need to moving FORWARD with more and better solar installations and NOT ban them like many of our local towns are currently doing. And finally we need to actually BUY the newer cars that the auto industry is cureently rolling off the lines with their electric and super celled battery operated systems. If we do ALL of this, then we can look back at the long gas lines as part of our history; NOT the look of our future...
Michelle November 02, 2012 at 12:13 PM
That's a good idea- "Odd and Even" days. I saw the line this morning for the Getty gas station and it was utterly insane. Of course it didn't help that was the only gas station open in the entire town.
Bobby L November 02, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Tom Fox.........Yes odd even would help just as it did in the 70's you HAD to wait until it was your day to be able to buy gas. It worked back then to shorten lines and counter the aggravation and would work the same now. Of course you would be smart enough to buy enough to have for the days when you couldn't buy gas being the responsible person you are. I am not suggesting we change to odd and even days forever as a fix for the energy problems facing all of us, but at least it would make the chaos that is out there now a little more controlled.
Jessica Hascup Valente November 02, 2012 at 01:18 PM
we filled up our cars before the storm in anticipation....but my husband just waited on line for over 3 hours in town at the Gulf to get diesel for his boss and was told he is the last customer for diesel.
mimi November 02, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I love all the whiners in different towns saying they should have been better informed and had more warning. The Weather Channel was talking about this 2 weeks ago, NJ 12 got on board last week with warnings. How much more do they need? All I know is the Butler once again did a great job. 2 days seemed like an eternity to us since we don't have gas to heat water and cook with but we made it through. Thank heavens the Nor'easter that is being predicted for next Wednesday and Thursday won't be so bad. Are you listening out there????
Sally November 02, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Remember what you have learned from this storm so you are better prepared for the next one. We have already gone out a bought a bigger gas can for our generator.
Visorman November 02, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Thanks to Jessica for noting that it's a Gulf station, not Getty.
Bobby L November 03, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Well....I guess we shall see if the Odd-Even days make a difference....right Tom? Getting Real!!! LOL :)
Liz Holda November 03, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Do you know of any stations now selling gas up on rt23 toward Vernon?
mimi November 04, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Now the Gestapo Butler cops have stopped letting people get gas in their cans. Guess who is calling Kane in your Corner in the morning!
Someone November 05, 2012 at 06:23 AM
I got rid of my car months ago, so I'm finding this all incredibly funny.
Mr. Tom Fox November 14, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Bobby L. ... I agreed with the odd even days for automobiles and believe that it will work as it did in the 70s. I was there, saw it, and remember it well. What I was saying is that I did not belief, as originally concidered, that people should wait for odd / even days for filling up gas cans for their home generators that kept peoples homes warm, food from spoiling and health related machinery running.

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