Woodlawn residents irate over lack of gas following Hurricane Sandy
Tensions are high as Irish community struggles to restore normality and frustration takes hold
As the gas shortage on the East Coast has lingered on in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, recovery is not only at a slow pace, but tensions have been raised among many frustrated motorists for a number of reasons.
In the aftermath of the Hurricane, gas stations and their customers fell victim, as well as the lives lost in New York, the hundreds of homes shattered and the millions of houses and workplaces without power.
Frustrations were alive around Woodlawn - between McLean Avenue and Katonah Avenue - since Thursday, as people queued for hours in their vehicles as well as on foot in hopes of filling their tanks and containers with fuel.
Katonah Avenue in the Bronx became a talking point of many locals on Thursday when reality hit that fuel was in fact very limited following harbors being shut along with the struggle for wholesale gasoline suppliers to transport the gas.
Many gas stations in the area still do not have electricity as IrishCentral Community News goes to print on Sunday evening. The large BP on 233rd and Van Cortland has remained in darkness, along with surrounding houses, stores and bars since Sandy hit.
This has exacerbated the situation, forcing regular customers to burn more fuel traveling to other stations in the area, burning more fuel on the way and adding to longer lines.
The Hess gas station on Katonah Avenue on 233rd was bombarded with customers all through the day and night on Thursday.
Tempers fueled among drivers who waited in line for hours to purchase fuel- sometimes only being allowed half a tank, and sometimes not getting fuel at all.
One local Irish girl sat in line on Thursday only to witness one man try to jump the line in his truck, and then had another man get out of his car to roar abuse. "I'll kill your mother!" is what the man said to the guy who tried jumping the line," said the young woman.
Lines continued constantly all day Thursday, right into the night, stretching all the way down Katonah, around Van Cortland, meeting back at 233rd street, where yet more tempers flared.
Residents on Katonah Avenue got a full view of one gypsy cab pass out another string of cars right outside St.Barnabas school on Thursday night.
"A couple of guys got out of a car and went toward the cab with a bat. They smashed the back window of the cab before reaching in and punching the cab driver and then they pulled him out. The cops came along and the cab driver got back into the car while the gang of men threw the bat under the car and returned to the line. The cops, again, took the cab driver out of the vehicle and proceeded to turn the car around to face the other direction to send him to the back of the line,” said an eyewitness who asked not to be named because he is undocumented.
Lines were still as long in the late hours of Thursday night early hours of Friday morning. Many cars had their engines turned off to conserve gas, while some vehicles could be seen rolling along after running out of all gas.
On Friday morning at 11.45am, cops made the announcement on Katonah Avenue that was no more gas.
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