A line of vehicles snaked for blocks in both directions along Mamaroneck Ave. Friday afternoon in White Plains, one of several locations in the county where people were willing to wait for hours for an opportunity to fill their gas tanks.
Gasoline is at a premium throughout Westchester County, an after effect of the power outages and transportation nightmares created when Hurricane Sandy battered the region Monday night.
Although New York City and New Jersey's gas shortages have been more severe, the problem has spread north to Westchester and surrounding counties over the last two days. Local stations are either flooded with cars waiting for a fill-up or closed completely.
"They are opening and closing at random depending on what they have," said White Plains Police Lt. Eric Fisher. "A lot are open, but a lot are closed."
White Plains police are in communication with gas stations throughout the city, sending officers to direct traffic when a station opens in anticipation of the lines, said David Chong, the city's public safety commissioner.
Traffic at each station varies; some customers said they waited 15 minutes, others more than an hour.
With three gas stations open near the intersection of Mamaroneck Ave. and S Broadway Friday, hundreds of cars were lined up in both directions waiting for the opportunity to fill up.
Keith Williams, 52, of Brooklyn, said he waited 90 minutes to get his spot in front of the pump.
"That's what you have to do," he said.
Williams said he made his way to White Plains Friday to borrow a vehicle from his sister-in-law. He said he filled up his vehicles before the storm, but they were flooded Monday night.
"I wasn't even aware of the gas problem because we didn't have a car, so we didn't know until we came up here and saw this," Williams said. "We saw the lines on the news and wow—and here I am experiencing it personally."
Across the street at the Celestino's gas station, Eric Blecher said he only waited about 15 minutes to fill up. He said he jumped at the chance to fill his tank on the way home to New Rochelle.
"I guess it's still a secret," he said. "I just wanted to make sure I was filled."
The scene was similar at the Citgo gas station on Lake St. Police had blocked off the station's main entrance and were lining up cars along Eastview Ave.
Police have reported only a few issues at gas stations within the city. At 3 p.m. Chong said police have "handled a few verbal arguments", but that no arrests have been made.
A statement from White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach's office Friday afternoon said that the chain of delivery for gasoline remains intact and that deliveries are expected to continue. Officials have indicated the shortage is expected to slowly come to an end over the next two days.
But those in line Friday weren't taking any chances.
"I lived in Florida for 12 years and I went one month without electricity," Blecher said. "So you never know."
White Plains Gas Station Update - 3 p.m.
The Mobil and BP at the S Kensico intersection are both closed and out of gas.
The Citgo near S Kensico is open and has gas. The line is wrapping around onto Eastview. The main entrance is blocked off by police.
The Getty across the street does not have gas, parked cars are blocking the entrance.
There are three gas stations open near the S Broadway intersection. Mobil, Citgo and Celestino's are currently open. The line into Mobil and Citgo are blocks long. The line into Celestino's is much shorter.
North White Plains
North Broadway: The Citgo had gas at 2 p.m. Police were directing traffic in the area.
North Broadway: Ro-Ro Automotive had gas at 2 p.m. Police were directing traffic in the area.