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Drivers Make a Run for the Pump Ahead of Nor'easter

By  Paul DeBenedetto Emily Frost Jesse Lent and Trevor Kapp | November 7, 2012 3:28pm | Updated on November 7, 2012 7:37pm

NEW YORK — Long lines again plagued gas stations Wednesday, as drivers around the five boroughs made a run for fuel ahead of the nor'easter that lashed the city with rain, wind and even snow.

At an Upper West Side Mobil station at 96th Street and West End Avenue, the line was nearly 50 cars long, stretching from 96th Street to 100th Street.

Station owner Tamara Eagle, who lives on the Upper West Side and runs the business she inherited from her father, said that because of the storm, she expected to be out of gas by 6 p.m., if not earlier.

"We think the lines are worse today," Eagle said. "I'm going to call to see if we can get more gas."

Daniel Kalder, 28, who lives in Chelsea but stayed on the Upper East Side during the hurricane, said he waited in line at the station for an hour and 10 minutes, but still managed to get fuel.

"I figured I wouldn't be able to get gas for the next few days," he said. "I've been trying to get gas after work for the last seven days."

Drivers filling up at a Mobil station on Houston Street and Avenue C in the East Village said on Wednesday that they wanted to fill up before the storm hit and lines got worse.

"I'm off today so I wanted to get gas to go back to work tomorrow," said Betty Blue, 56, from Alphabet City. "Tomorrow it's gonna be very, very bad. It's something I wanted to take advantage of today."

Pierre Vasquez, a 34-year-old tattoo artist from Flushing, said he stopped to fill up because it was one of the shorter lines in the city.

"It's still really hectic," Vasquez said. "Some places, you wait three to four hours. I wanted to take advantage now before the lines get even worse and while there's still gas."

At a BP station on Second Avenue and 2nd Street, a line of taxis waited to get gas so they could work through the storm.

"If there's gasoline in any place, people will make a line," said Iqbal Chowdh, a 52-year-old taxi driver. "Without gasoline, I can't work."

In Williamsburg, a line of about 50 cars lined up for five blocks at the Hess Station on Metropolitan and Bushwick avenues.

Fifty-year-old Francisco Grullon waited in the snow with a gas can on Wednesday afternoon, hoping to get enough to fill up his minivan before the weather became worse.

"I'm worried that maybe tomorrow you can't get gas," Grullon said. "Maybe this evening, because of the storm."

"The government promised they're going to fix the situation but they haven't done anything," he added.

A Citgo station on Myrtle and Classon avenues in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn was also busy before the storm.

Dom Leon, 59, said he visited a number of stations in the area looking for gas, including a Shell station down the street on Classon and Flushing avenues that was closed on Wednesday. 

Although busy, he said the Citgo station was one of the few places people in the neighborhood are able to stop.

"Tell me a place that doesn't have a line, let's put it that way," Leon said.