Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order designed to speed gasoline deliveries by waiving a state requirement that fuel tankers register and pay a tax before unloading. But there will still be long lines at the pump in the gasoline-starved city, and many stations were wreathed in yellow caution tape: a signal they had no fuel or no power.
In Brooklyn, courier Winston Alfred waited in line for gasoline for four hours overnight only to be told the station ran dry when there was one vehicle ahead of his red van.
"I didn't have enough gas to go to work. Now, I lose my day of work," he said. "I lose the hours I spent in line. I don't know what I'm going to do."
Arlend Pierre-Louis, of Elmont, just over the Queens line on Long Island, said he and his wife awoke at 4:30 a.m. to try to get gas.
"The line was four blocks long for one pump," said Pierre-Louis, who took a bus and the subway to his job in midtown after giving up. "That was the one working pump in Elmont."
Bloomberg said he recognized the frustration over the gas the shortage but said supply problems are being addressed.
"The bottom line is that the gasoline system is getting back on its feet. We can expect some lags in how quickly it improves, but I think by Monday when people stop driving as much and start taking mass transit, that will be another thing," he said.
As fall temperatures continue to dip, the power outages are expected to be a longer-term problem, with crews repairing damage to overhead lines in outer boroughs.
Mariam Santiago, a 32-year-old unemployed Coney Island mother of two girls, was at a food distribution site behind a high school to get food for her extended family of five adults and eight children. They're all squeezed into a four-room apartment on the eighth floor of a building a block from the Atlantic Ocean, after some got flooded out of their homes. People are sleeping on the floor, she said, and they're cold.
"Everything we own we're wearing," Santiago said. "It's warmer outside than in the apartment. It's like an icebox inside."
Associated Press writers David Caruso, Michael Rubinkam, Verena Dobnik, Karen Matthews and Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.