Long Island will be the site of New York State’s first Strategic Gasoline Reserve as part of a pilot program designed to prevent a crisis at the pump if gas stations lose power for an extended period of time like many did after Superstorm Sandy.
The reserve is expected to hold 3 million gallons of fuel for drivers and first responders, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday.
“The gap in gasoline supplies during Superstorm Sandy was incredibly disruptive to the daily routines of New Yorkers who needed to get to school and work as well as the operations of businesses during an already difficult time,” Cuomo said.
The state’s Fuel NY initiative was created in response to long delays at gas stations battling power outages brought on by Sandy. Drivers across the Island were met with long lines at gas stations, and some were forced to sit on line for several hours only to discover that pumps dried up.
About a week after the storm, both Nassau and Suffolk counties implemented odd/even days in an effort to ration fuel. Drivers were only allowed to pump gas if the last number of their license plate corresponded with the day of the month.
The state is hoping to prevent a similar crisis in the future.
The Strategic Gasoline Reserve will use capacity owned by Northville Industries on Long Island, the state said. The reserve, which will cost $10 million, could also be used to deliver fuel to other areas in the state.
“By putting in place a fuel reserve on Long Island it will help relieve stress on the supply of fuel in a time of crisis,” Kevin Beyer, president of Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association, said in a statement.