I've been and will remain very busy this weekend, working at medical shelter/field triage facility. There I am surrounded by EMT's, nurses, and doctors who came from very far to help with hurricane relief. They are a pretty gun ho bunch, full of good will, and it has been reassuring to be around them in that our society isn't doomed.
The locals like me share stories about the damage their homes sustained and the most common topic of concern for everyone is the gasoline shortage. Most people have exhausted their car reserve and are trying to get rides from others. I can get a ride from my hospital to this shelter in our official shuttle. So I asked the driver where he got his gasoline. I thought that there might be special pumps for emergency vehicles, and there might be, but in this case he was just as unfortunate as the rest of us. He has 2 vehicles at his disposal. One is out of gas and the one we were riding in, his co-worker spent 6 hours waiting on line to gas up. One of our affiliated hospitals does have a pump for their own vehicles but they have refused to help with our vehicles, and in this shortage, I can see why.
When I got home yesterday, I heard all sorts of rumors from people. One rumor was of a special location where NY transit employees would be rationed 5 gallons of gasoline per day; someone wasted several gallons driving there only to find out that this story was untrue. Other people talk of out of the way locations where there is gas easily available but these locations are pretty far out of reach and don't seem real to me. Who has enough fuel to drive somewhere for several hours anymore? Furthermore, each time a rumor starts I hear of someone who actually went to this facility only to find that they are out of gas.
Yesterday morning, I saw a 5 block long line of cars standing still. I recognized some of the people on this line as my neighbors. When I finally drove past the station, I saw a sign out front that said "NO GAS", but the cars weren't moving anywhere. They were parked along bus stops and everyone just sat there awaiting the next delivery. I worked a 36 hour shift, and went to sleep as soon as I came home. In the evening I walked down the many flights of my building as the elevators were out of service, and will likely remain this way for the next week, and walked over to this gas station. The scene didn't change. Same cars were still standing there.
Soon I will be leaving for another 36 hour shift, and I have just enough gas for one more round trip to work. Then, it will be election day and I really hope that afterwards things will change for the better.
6 hours ago