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State Orders Gas Rationing System for Northern Half of NJ in Response to Shortage

Many Areas of New Brunswick Remain Dark Tonight, as City Gas Stations Draw Huge Lines
Gas shortage
Customers wait for a delivery of gas to the BP station on French Street Charlie Kratovil

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ— The city government announced that the state Office of Emergency Management plans to implement a gasoline rationing policy tomorrow that will use the final numeral of license plates to determine which vehicles can gas up on a given day.

Just over an hour later, Governor Chris Christie confirmed he had signed an executive order to implement the new policy in twelve NJ counties, including Middlesex, starting at noon tomorrow.

The policy would allow those whose license plates end in odd numbers to purchase gasoline until midnight, when even numbered plates would get their turn.

Until further notice, the policy will continue to limit vehicles to fill-up on dates that match the odd/even status of their plate's final number.  Letters are ignored in the system.

For instance, if the policy continues until Monday, odd numbers would once again have a chance to fill up because the date, November 5, is an odd number.

The few city gas stations that were open today drew long lines that were supervised by New Brunswick police.  They included the BP on French Street, the Shell on Easton Avenue, and the Exxon on Route 18.

Meanwhile, crews are continuing to restore electricity to the city.  Between 5,000 and 10,000 customers remain without service, including areas where mandatory evacuations were executed.

Rutgers dormitories re-opened over the past few days after being evacuated on Tuesday.  Classes were cancelled for an entire week, and students were taken to Piscataway campuses.

Rockoff Hall, the Henderson Apartments, Helyar House, and Old Gibbons dormitories remained without electricity and under an evacuation order.

Rockoff Hall is expected to regain electric service at the same time that evacuated luxury apartments near the Raritan River are also turned on.

But many other areas of the city including the Schwarz Homes and Robeson Village housing projects remained without electricity for the fourth consecutive day.

The city police department said in a statement, "PSE&G is committed to having workers on the ground in municipalities conducting repairs and will advise New Brunswick as soon as possible on a real time estimate for full restoration of power."

The utility has hesitated to give any time estimates for restoring service.