Getting Gas: A Bloodsport
Few service stations are open, but those that are have lines that stretch into roadways and block intersections.
At the Exxon station at Route 70 and New Hampshire Avenue in Lakewood, gas station attendants frantically directed cars coming into the pump area.
They came from multiple directions as drivers made dangerous U-turns in the middle of long lines to point their vehicles' tank access door toward the hoses.
Meanwhile, two men got into a fender-bender at the station's entrance and were arguing as a police officer arrived to take a report.
Getting gas has become sort of a bloodsport at the Jersey Shore - and all over New Jersey - as people in Brick, Long Branch, Eatontown, Toms River and elsewhere are fighting to get a spot at any of the few stations that are open.
And, police say, they're also creating potential traffic hazards by stretching their lines into traffic, blocking intersections and causing traffic jams.
At the Costco Wholesale station in Brick Township, a line stretched down the state highway back to Shorrock Street as hundreds of vehicles waited to reach the pumps.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority, meanwhile, is asking motorists to use extra caution as they travel on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. Long lines for fuel are stretching from the service area lots onto the roadways. At Garden State Parkway milepost 98, for example, traffic for the gas station was backed up two miles Wednesday afternoon.
The only storm-related disruptions are at the Grover Cleveland Service Area on the northbound Turnpike between Interchanges 11 and 12 in Woodbridge Township and at the Vaux Hall Service Area at milepost 145 on the northbound Garden State Parkway in Irvington.
The Grover Cleveland Service Area is completely closed because of flooding. The Vaux Hall Service Area remains open for rest rooms and water, but fuel and food services are not available because of power issues.
No fuel, however, is available at the Cheesequake Service Area at milepost 124 in Sayreville because of a maintenance project that was started on Oct. 1 and is scheduled to continue until Nov. 8. Food service and rest rooms remain available at Cheesequake.
On Tuesday night, the parking lot was pitch black as the rest area appeared to be running on generators. Inside, Natonal Guard members munched on cheeseburgers as they squeezed for seats within the big, packed crowd.
Outside, cars were slowly turning away from the dark pumps, going back to the Garden State Parkway with the hope there was somewhere else to go.