They came from miles to wait in mile-long lines.
Word spread like wildfire that a few gas stations had reopened on Route 17 in Paramus Thursday very quickly causing traffic on both sides of the road as people waited and waited to finally get gas in their tanks.
Dozens of people without vehicles lined up at the pumps each armed with one or two red canisters hoping to bring back gasoline to keep their generators running at home as they continue to go without power for several days.
The line for the Sunoco station on Route 17 south was backed up way past the Land Rover dealership. Traffic was backed up for at least a mile at the Hess station on Route 17 south as well. Hess had regular at $3.57 a gallon, premium at $3.93 and diesel for $3.89 a gallon.
Lynn Cole of Englewood waited in line at the Lukoil station on Route 17 North Thursday to fill up on gasoline for her generator. She said she drove around 50 miles Wednesday looking for gasoline and couldn’t find anything. As soon as she heard some stations opened in Paramus she headed straight over.
John Hallihan of Ridgewood had about a dozen people ahead of him waiting to fill their generator cansisters with fuel. At that point he had been in line about a half hour but he says he drove about two hours just to find an open gas station to get fuel for his generator. He said thankfully his vehicle has fuel. His home has been without power since Sunday night.
Sandy caused power outages all over the area which quickly led to a gasoline shortage as multiple stations have been without power and forced to close. Those that were open ran out of gas quickly due to the high demand.
The Citgo gas station on Williams Avenue and Terrace in Hasbrouck Heights was more or less the sole gas station in the area for about two days. By Thursday the station was closed up as it was all out of gas.
Traffic was also a nightmare further down on Route 17 in Hasbrouck Heights as the opening of a BP station on Route 17 north caused tons of gridlock, some of it backing up into local streets such as Franklin and Field Avenue.