Snow and petrol rations follow Sandy


New York City and much of the US Northeast was hammered today by a snowstorm that hammered as local governments expanded gasoline rationing in the face of shortages that may last for weeks.

The unseasonably early winter storm came as the region still struggles to recover from Superstorm Sandy. It dumped more than a 30 cm of snow on parts of Connecticut on yesterday and slapped the region with 50 mph 80 kph winds, plunging 300,000 homes and businesses back into darkness.

Bitter cold, rain, snow and powerful winds added to the misery of disaster victims whose homes were destroyed or power was knocked out by Sandy

The snowstorm created another commuting nightmare for a region whose transportation system was already under repair because of the hurricane.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city would begin an indefinite programme of petrol rationing today, modelled on one New Jersey implemented last week.

"It now appears there will be shortages for possibly another couple weeks," Mr Bloomberg said, later adding "if you think about it, it's not any great imposition once you get used to it."

Neighbouring counties would implement a similar program, he said, in an effort to cut down lines that ran for hours at local filling stations following Sandy.

The city's iconic yellow taxis are exempt from the new regulation, which allows drivers to fill up on alternating days depending on their license plate number.

New Yorkers, never known for holding their tongues, let their exasperation with the bad weather show. "God hates us!" the New York Post said in a front-page headline.


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