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