Temperatures plummeted and tension soared in the Northeast as gasoline supplies continued to dwindle despite furious efforts to bring in fuel. Sandy’s death toll reached 100, and New York called off its famous marathon, despite the mayor’s protestations that it should have taken place as scheduled, as a symbol of resolve.
Government officials moved aggressively to combat the fuel shortage, a crucial hurdle to recovery and a threat to commuters, generators, trash trucks, taxis and rescue workers alike.
President Obama on Friday ordered the Energy Department to loan diesel oil from government reserves in Connecticut to emergency responders. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano took the rare step of waiving 92-year-old rules for the delivery of petroleum products to Northeast ports, expediting shipments from the Gulf of Mexico.
In New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo waived tax and registration requirements on fuel distribution — and insisted that there was “no reason to panic.”
It was evident that millions did not agree.
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