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There's Gas in Morristown—But, Expect to Wait

Some drivers waited up to three hours to fill up Thursday.

The good news: There's gas to be found at stations with power in and around Morristown.

The bad news: Be prepared to wait. A long time.

Those seeking petrol at the Gulf station at the corner of Morris Street and Ridgedale Avenue in Morristown were being directed to begin their journey to the pump on nearby Ford Avenue. The line Thursday afternoon was stretching near to Franklin Street, near Town Hall and Morristown Medical Center.

One Morristown police officer directing traffic at 3 p.m. said it had been even worse earlier in the day.

Morris County Sheriffs Department Officer Mike O'Connor, called in to assist the town with keeping the peace at the station, said he drove from Long Valley 40 minutes west to Franklin Township in Warren County for his gasoline Wednesday night.

Those with gas cans at the station fared a little better than drivers. Lined up along the perimeter and directed to a pump designated specifically for them, several said the wait was averaging between 30 to 45 minutes.

But, that was OK. "The line in Chester is much longer," said Chester resident Tom Regan, several red gas cans in hand. "Route 10 is a mess, Route 206 is a death trap in good times."

Alan Kenwood, of Mendham, had passed a line for gasoline near Exit 151 on the Garden State Parkway Wednesday night that stretched for about a mile. Entering the station from the opposite direction, "it was at least as long."

Both the Gulf and Citgo gas station in Morris Plains sought to maintain order by not allowing entrance in multiple directions.

Cars looking to fill up (at a maximum of $50 per vehicle) at Citgo stretched down Speedwell Avenue beyond sight. Drivers there said they had been waiting three hours.

David Scott, executive director for Market Street Mission, was in good spirits as his vehicle neared the station after the long wait.

He said he and his organization had fared relatively well, considerably better than in 2011 when Hurricane Irene destroyed the entire bottom floor of their thrift store on George Street.

This time, "the back third of it blew off," he said. But, Scott noted, he was optimistic they would be able to make the repairs themselves.

Skip Schaffer of Morristown said, only a few cars from reaching liquid gold, "I'm a lot better now than three hours ago."

Just as Schaffer and friend Johnny Divine spoke, a car behind them was hit from behind by another vehicle trying to exit the TD Bank parking lot. No one was injured and the vehicle did not appear to be seriously damaged.

Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi, who had stopped by to speak with several Morris Plains police officers, begged those seeking fuel and other forms of sustenance in this trying time to "please, for the safety and benefit of all, be patient."

"The biggest law enforcement concern right now is the disorder and unrest at gas stations," he said. "Gas is coming, there is no need to panic."

That's especially true when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. For Cindi and Fred Brandtlevin of Randolph, that light at the corner of Speedwell and East Hanover Avenue read, "$3.79 a gallon."

"Trees fell on our property but they landed in the forest," Cindi said. "We're OK, we're safe. That's what matters."

Stacey November 02, 2012 at 01:11 PM
I waited 4 hours at Fairchilds gas station..and their was no limit to what people could fill. People were filling up cars & gas cans..I only filled up $50 because they were running low and I felt bad for the huge line behind me.
Martatown November 02, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Lukoil in Covent Station is open. $30 limit. They are doing a great job of moving the cars through quickly and the Sheriff's officers are on hand keeping everything in order. About a 45 minute wait.

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