By Wednesday evening, most Mahwah gas stations were either out of gas, or serving hours-long lines of customers searching for gas to either fuel their cars, or the generators powering their homes.
Mahwah police officers were stationed at township gas stations to control the crowds, while traffic snarled many of the township’s roadways as more residents began emerging from their homes after the storm.
Lines of cars were seen waiting along Franklin Turnpike and Route 17 all day waiting for gas.
By about 5 p.m. Wednesday, all stations along Franklin Turnpike had sold out of gas except for the Gulf station, which was rationing off the last of its supply.
“I have been waiting in line for about two hours,” Cathy Merritt, who traveled from her home in Upper Saddle River to the Mahwah Gulf to get gas. “I was the last one, the cut off. After me they were going to stop pumping gas.”
Many North Jersey residents like Merritt were on the hunt for gasoline Wednesday. “My husband is commuting to help with the clean-up in Hackensack and East Rutherford. We needed to have a tank of gas in this car,” she said.
Mahwah township officials sent out a Nixle text message alert Wednesday evening addressing the gas issue in the township.
“The impact of the Hurricane on the gas terminals along with power outages at gas stations has resulted in long gas lines and in some cases gas shortages,” the alert said. “Traffic congestion on Franklin Turnpike today was significant.”
Thursday morning, the township sent out an alert that several township gas stations had gas and were open, but residents should expect delays.
The lack of fuel coming from the region’s main ports, in Newark and Elizabeth, has caused gas shortage concerns throughout the county. Bergen County officials are working with municipalities on how to continue to fuel recovery efforts while state and federal officials reported working on getting gasoline into the area.
But, for many Mahwah residents, the most pressing concern remains where to find gas now.
So, if you have found a station that is pumping gas, let your neighbors know in the comments below.