New Jersey man pumps gas by hand to help neighbors

(CBS NEWS) RUMSON, N.J. -- It's gotten tense on long gas lines in New York and New Jersey following Superstorm Sandy, but one New Jersey gas station still provides service with a smile.

In the gas line in Rumson, N.J., there are no wheels, just feet. Residents come with their hands full and wait as long as three hours.

In this line, there is no profanity, just patience.

Richie Dodd and his crew have been pumping gas by hand in Rumson, N.J.
CBS News

After the storm, Richie Dodd could have closed his gas station, like other owners did, but he told his wife Dottie he had another idea.

"He said, 'People need me, Dottie,'" Dottie Dodd says. "I said, 'But Richie, how do you do that?' He said, 'I have help.'"

Richie found an old hand pump, connected a copper pipe and drove it into his underground tank. In four days, Dodd's crew has cranked out 30,000 gallons.

"You have to do it for the people," Richie says. "People have to get their generators going."

With the power still out, generators are the only source of light and heat, so a gas can is the hottest accessory in town.

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Scott Caldwell showed up with five cans.

"I have three little ones at home, so anything I can do to keep them warm and keep them fed, I'm willing to do," he says.

Despite the high demand, the Dodds didn't want to gouge their neighbors.

"That would never be Richie Dodd," says Dottie. "Those prices would never change. What it is, it is."

On this corner in Rumson, compassion is measured by the gallon.

"As long as the people need the gas, we'll pump it for them," Richie says.

To help victims of Sandy, donations to the American Red Cross can be made by visiting Red Cross disaster relief, or you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

  • Ben Tracy

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