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Sandy update: Cop injured, locals arrested as cars line up for gas

Police at a Mobil station in Stony Point

Police at a Mobil station in Stony Point try to keep things orderly and under control. (Nov. 3, 2012) Photo Credit: Susan Stava

Commuters looking to top off gas tanks may face long lines at Hudson Valley gas stations Monday morning as power outages and fuel shortages continue at pumping stations.

At Camp Smith in Cortlandt Manor on Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the fuel issues were easing and urged New Yorkers not to panic and to minimize their use of fuel. Cuomo said fuel delivery was disrupted by harbor closures, which are now open, and power outages at gas stations, which are gradually getting power restored. Cuomo did criticize power companies over the handling of the storm but said the situation seems to be easing.

"Every day has been getting better," Cuomo said.

Police in Orangetown and Port Chester reported long lines and traffic jams Saturday and Sunday because of fuel demand. Some gas stations in Rockland County and Westchester County were out of fuel. Four people reportedly were arrested in Yonkers on charges of disorderly conduct related to filling up at gas stations, police told News12.

New York City Mayor Bloomberg said resolving the fuel shortages could take days.

In Mount Vernon, 62 cars were lined up around the block at one station Sunday even though it was closed and had no fuel.

"I heard they might be getting a delivery. So I came here and I'm waiting," said Earl Tuck, 75, of Mount Vernon. He had been there at least two hours by 9 a.m., and there was no delivery truck in sight. Tuck said he would stick it out.

"I'll just sit and wait," he said, his gas gauge between a quarter tank and empty. "If they don't (get a delivery), I have enough to get home."

On Thursday, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano imposed a gas ration of 10 gallons per day. Rockland County also has imposed a 10-gallon limit.

Cuomo on Sunday urged New Yorkers not to fill up unless it was necessary.

"Now is not the time to panic," the governor said. "Everyone wanting to have a full tank is making the situation worse."

In Orange County, a Washingtonville police officer was hit by a car waiting for gas at the Stewart's Gas Station at about 9 a.m. The officer suffered injuries to his arm, wrist and legs. The accident team was investigating how the incident occurred, Mayor Kevin Hudson told News12.

Gas station employees said they didn't know when fuel would be delivered. A cashier at the Mount Vernon station, Ahmed Nawaz, said he wasn't sure when the pumps might be running again.

"We are expecting a delivery. But yesterday we weren't expecting one, and we got one. So I don't know," he said.

Cuomo rescinded a "free gas for the people" offer announced Saturday morning after thousands of drivers swarmed five locations in New York City and Long Island.

The fuel, ordered sent to New York and New Jersey by President Obama late Friday, was used to gas up police cars, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles at armories in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Freeport. Cuomo said Sunday that he's not aware of any gas shortages for emergency responders or school buses.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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