A quick update on the gas shortage, which remains a huge concern. The bottom line is that a number of the factors contributing to the shortage issues have been addressed, but it will probably be another 24 hours or more before the effect is visible.
1. Supply Issues: Because of the impact of the storm surge, wind, and power outages the majority of the terminals and pipelines that deliver gasoline to the region went down during the storm. Additionally, access to ports was limited by the Coast Guard because of hazardous conditions on the water. The good news is that these problems are increasingly being addressed. The Coast Guard has been able to lift most of their restrictions, enabling significant supplies to reach the region. A number of major pipelines and delivery points have come back online or are expected to do so in the next 24 hours. The combined effect of these re-openings should significantly alleviate the shortage, although it will still take some time for gas to offloaded and distributed to stations.
2. Refining Capacity: The majority of the Northeast regions refineries (primarily located in the Delaware, PA, Southern NJ area) had to shut down as a result of the storm. Many of these are also coming back online. The EPA has lifted some Clean Air Act requirements for diesel fuel which should help increase production rate at the refinings that are operating to ensure emergency vehicles have fuel supply. The re-opening of pipelines and terminals means that gas from refining in the Gulf that has been earmarked for the area can now begin to flow in. In addition, Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Friday that the Department of Homeland Security issued a temporary, blanket waiver of the Jones Act, allowing additional oil tankers coming from the Gulf of Mexico to enter Northeastern ports, which will provide additional fuel resources to the region.
3. Local Delivery: Gas has to be delivered from terminals and pipelines to gas stations by truck, so blocked roads from downed trees and particularly powerlines has made delivering fuel to stations difficult. However, because gas stations are generally on major roads, most of these blocks are being removed and the fuel that is now coming in again from pipelines and terminals should be able to get to more stations.
4. BUT local gas stations need to have their power restored in order to operate the pumps….
Our office has been working with the various federal and state agencies (FEMA, DoE, Governor’s office, Coast Guard) to make sure the delivery system gets working again and to protect supply for emergency services. It appears that things should begin to improve soon, but obviously this remains a huge concern.
Hudson Valley Regional Director
Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
The library will be open on Monday evening from 5:30 to 9 pm for emergency service, internet and electricity.
The Atria Woodlands in Ardsley has rooms available for the elderly. Power may not be restored throughout the region until the end of next week. It’s getting cold. And- if residents don’t want to go to a shelter or stay with a HOUSE ANGEL (volunteers who are opening up their homes) this is an alternative. E mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have almost a dozen offers from Greenburgh residents to let people stay in their homes.
I just spoke to the command center. As of now there are 8690 power outages in Greenburgh. The police expect significant progress re: restoration of power to be made –starting tomorrow. Major roads are now cleared. Many of the secondary roads have also been cleared. We expect Con Ed to send crews from out of state to Westchester.