Q&A on the News

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

Q: There were gas shortages and long lines all over the Northeast, but crews from all over country are restoring power and Red Cross emergency vehicles came in. Where did they get gas?

— Andy Sims, Douglasville

A: For the most part, emergency responders and utility crews initially had to wait in lines with others who needed gas after Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency brought in tankers from federal supplies to supply workers, Len Melisurgo, an editor with the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, told Q&A on the News in an email. That supply was placed at "regional locations under the control of the National Guard," he wrote. "It was for all first responders, utility workers and the like. That took them out of the gas lines." Some companies, such as Verizon New Jersey, had secured fuel for their utility trucks, but their employees had to find gas on their own. Part of the fuel shortage was because the Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery in Linden, N.J., was shut down until Nov. 9, and the Hess refinery in Woodbridge, N.J., wasn't back online until Friday. They supply a combined 300,000 barrels a day, according to the Star-Ledger. "This is an unprecedented storm and this is an unprecedented response effort," FEMA spokesman Scott Sanders told the paper. New Jersey has ended gas rationing, but rationing in New York City has been extended through this week.