Days after super storm Sandy slammed into the northeastern U.S., some refineries in northern New Jersey remain without power, drastically affecting oil supplies.
Long lines could be seen in several places in Manhattan on Friday. Motorists waited for three or four hours, only to learn that the tanks were empty.
While the Port of New York and New Jersey have slowly started accepting tankers, some of Friday's cargo had to be diverted to West Virginia.
On Saturday, officials rolled out a gas-rationing system in a dozen New Jersey counties.
On even-numbered days, gas stations can sell to vehicles with plates that end in an even number. Vehicles with odd-numbered plates can fill up on odd-numbered days.
"We continue to make progress in keeping area communities supplied in the aftermath of the storm and resuming normal operations at our facilities," said a company spokesperson for Hess Corporation, a New Jersey-based oil refinery.
"The majority of our stations in the New York and the New Jersey metro area remain open, in many cases using back-up generators. There are often long lines due to high demand; however, the odd-even rationing for gasoline purchases ... seems to be making a real difference in reducing lines and customer wait times for gas."
According to the company rep, the Hess Port Reading refinery was shut down prior to Sandy's landfall and then lost power during the storm.
Power was partially restored yesterday. It may be several days before the plant is functioning at full capacity.
Some airlines flying into New York have attempted to circumvent the fuel shortage by carrying extra fuel supplies on board.
With files from the Canadian Press