Port Jefferson (WALK) - Governor Cuomo was on Long Island to mark the one-year anniversary of superstorm Sandy by announcing that gas stations have begun taking steps to stay in operation during future disasters.
Governor Cuomo says that 258 gas stations in the New York metropolitan area, including about 100 on Long Island, have established back-up power systems to keep them up and running after a storm like Sandy strikes. Cuomo visited a Hess station in Port Jefferson that was one of the first to install a "transfer switch" so the facility can more easily connect to generators if there's a power outage.
“One of the hardest lessons learned during superstorm Sandy was making sure that the gasoline disruptions, caused by power outages, do not happen again,” Governor Cuomo said.
A new state law requires all gas stations within a half-mile of a highway or located along a hurricane evacation route to install transfer switches and activate generators within 24 hours after losing power. More than 1,000 gas stations on Long Island will have to install the transfer switches by April 1, 2014, including 370 on Long Island, though smaller gas stations can apply for an exemption.
The state is helping gas station owners with grants of up to $10,000 per station to pay for transfer switch installations. Grants will increase to $13,000 per station if they install a permanent back-up generator along with the transfer switch. Eligible gas stations can apply online.
The governor also announced the launch of a web site called Fuel NY that will activate an "Emergency Gasoline Network" map during disasters, to help motorists locate gas stations with back-up capacity. To visit that site, click here.
Photo: Orin Zebest