New York City and Long Island will begin rationing gas to relieve frustration and long lines at the pump as the region continues to recover from damage to fuel distribution caused by Sandy last week.
Mayor Bloomberg, along with Nassau and Suffolk counties, announced the emergency program would begin Friday morning. Drivers with license plates ending in an even number can purchase fuel only on even-numbered days and drivers with plates ending in an odd number can buy on odd-numbered days. Vanity plates or others without numbers will be considered odd.
On Long Island, rationing begins at 5 a.m.; in New York City it starts at 6 a.m. It does not apply to emergency vehicles or taxis, officials said.
Also Thursday, the MTA said limited L train service has been restored between Brooklyn and Manhattan. The tunnel under the East River had been flooded 15 feet high for its entire length, officials said.
Meanwhile, as the region tries to recover from the storm 10 days ago, FEMA has begun moving trailers to Sandy disaster zones in New York and New Jersey.
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said the disaster relief agency has several hundred mobile homes in its inventory of emergency supplies and has started moving some of them to the tri-state.
He told reporters Thursday that officials still don’t know “what total demand would be.”
Since Sandy hit last week, more than 317,000 people have registered with FEMA for financial help and the agency has approved more than $300 million in emergency aid. In New York and New Jersey, FEMA has determined that more than 101,000 people are eligible for temporary housing at hotels or motels in the region but it’s unclear exactly how many people are taking advantage of that option.
More than 56,000 people have also been ruled eligible for FEMA’s individual and households program, which provides money for renting a new place or housing repairs.