Gov. Andrew Cuomo is doing everything he can to expedite shipments of gasoline to Long Island retailers, according to New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who said Friday that East End residents should strive to conserve fuel as much as possible in the coming days.
Thiele said that the Port of New York is back open and Cuomo has issued an executive order waiving the requirements that fuel tankers register and pay taxes before unloading. The Long Island Power Authority is also working to get all of the wholesale gasoline distribution terminals on the North Shore up and running, he said.
"We're seeing a better response than after Irene," he said of LIPA's performance, adding, "That's not saying a lot."
He was optimistic that the gas shortage will be short lived. "It's probably a short-term thing that we're going to have to endure for the next couple days," Thiele said, advising motorists to curb non-essential travel.
Suffolk County has directed gas stations to limit customers to only one tank of gas each, and just 10 extra gallons for those without power who need fuel for generators.
Thiele said Friday afternoon that he did an informal survey of his Assembly district, driving around to see where gas was still available. The only place he could find was Hess on County Road 39 near Stony Brook Southampton, and he said the line was a half-mile long.
According to hessexpress.com, as of 3:47 p.m. Friday, the station only had 1,861 gallons of regular left, and 890 gallons of premium. It is reportedly all out of 89 octane unleaded, and diesel.
There is enough gas to be had, according to Thiele. "It's just an issue of getting it to Long Island." He also noted that — primarily in western portions of the island — some stations have fuel, but no electricity to pump it. Meanwhile, based on his informal survey, it appears that stations on the East End's main thoroughfares have electricity, but no gas.
It will likely be next weekend when electricity is fully restored to Long Island, Thiele said, with the exception of flooded areas.
For hard hit homeowners, Cuomo has ordered that insurance deductibles for hurricane coverage be waived.
"I'm sure insurance companies aren't happy about that," Thiele said. He added that Cuomo clearly has the authority to order the waivers under his emergency powers.
Thiele himself has power at his Sag Harbor home, but none at his Bridgehampton office. He's getting work done with his cellphone and 3G-enabled tablet.
The assemblyman can be contacted for help with hurricane relief by calling his Albany office at 518-455-5997 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.