For Southampton Town residents who have been driving around on fumes the past few days, the Federal Emergency Management Agency brought relief Monday, with the aid of a Hampton Bays gas station.
FEMA delivered nearly 8,000 gallons of regular unleaded gasoline to Canoe Place Fuel Mart on Monday afternoon, and the proprietors of the gas station agreed to provide the staff and facility to distribute the fuel.
Evans Edson, the vice president of operations for the Shell station, said that FEMA called Sunday and offered to supply the fuel. The catch is that owner David Hawke has to foot the bill to operate the station, while not taking in money during the gas giveaway.
Edson said they welcomed the opportunity when FEMA called because they wanted to support the community. "It's good for everybody," he said.
The gas is free to drivers, but they are limited to 10 gallons each.
The delivery came around 2:30 p.m., and he put out the word on Facebook, Twitter, WLNG and elsewhere, Edson said. "Once the word spread, it spread like wildfire."
Around 5 p.m., the line was more than 100 vehicles long, and growing. It stretched from the station at the corner of Montauk Highway and Canoe Place Road back west on Montauk Highway, and south on Gravel Hill Road.
Edson said he expects the station will run out of fuel around 9 p.m.
After Hurricane Sandy, the station was closed due to not having electricity until Thursday, and then the inventory ran out on Friday, Edson said. When the next delivery came from Shell, they pumped all day and ran out again, he said, explaining that gas normally comes every two or three days.
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