N.J. deploys troopers to help with nightmarish gas lines

People wait in line to fill containers with fuel at a Shell gas station Oct. 30, 2012, in Edison, N.J.
AFP/Getty Images

The long lines at New Jersey gas stations since Superstorm Sandy have gotten so nightmarish, state troopers have been forced to step in.

CBS New York reports that New Jersey police have deployed troopers at all gas stations located at rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway to help organize massive lines leading up to the pump.

More than half of all gas stations in the New York-New Jersey region are unable to sell gas due to lack of power or inventory, Elaine Quijano reported on CBS "This Morning." Two refineries that account for nearly a quarter of New Jersey's fuel capacity remain closed and are not expected to open for days.

In the meantime, some drivers have had to wait up to three hours just to get gas and lines have extended as long as a mile. Keith Mittenzwei drove 60 miles from the Jersey Shore to the Alexander Hamilton service area off the New Jersey Turnpike to fill up his car, only to find out there was nothing left at the station.

"This is the worst I've ever seen it, This is totally terrible,"  Mittenzwei told "CBS This Morning."

CBS New York reports that drivers appeared to be patient for the most part, but the situation is not always orderly. One man said he was thankful for police keeping things in check.

"I've been waiting here for three hours now, and the whole time on the parkway people have been trying to kind of cut in," he told "CBS This Morning." "So I'm really happy that there are police out there."

To help Sandy-affected drivers get the gas they need, the Obama administration is temporarily waiving some Clean Act requirements in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

The waiver lets conventional gasoline be sold instead of cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline from Virginia and up the northeast coast through November 20. A blend of reformulated and regular gasoline is also allowed in some states in the south and Midwest

The EPA also says New Jersey residents can use heating oil in emergency generators and pumps if cleaner diesel is unavailable.