GREENWICH, Conn. – New York and New Jersey residents desperate for gasoline have headed into Greenwich in search of fuel, and it’s causing mixed reactions among residents and officials.
Several Greenwich gas stations that had been fully stocked on Thursday have been wiped out by Friday morning as people take the first exit off of I-95 in Connecticut in search of gas. Those stations that still have gas are seeing lines down the street.
But the lines or the demand for gas did not bother Jean-Louis LeBritain, owner of the Citgo on East Putnam Avenue. He said he saw it as an opportunity to help neighbors in need.
“My son pumped all night, we got a fresh shipment at three in the morning, I came this morning and we keep going. And we’re probably going to pump all night again,” LeBritain said. “The price [of gas] went up 13 cents the day before yesterday, but we kept the price the same. They deserve the help.”
The Greenwich Police Department set up traffic cones outside LeBritain’s gas station to keep traffic on Route 1 in order. The line for the Citgo went on for about a quarter-mile with cars bearing mostly New York and New Jersey license plates.
“I’m not surprised at the lines. When you watch the TV, they’re pretty hurt,” LeBritain said of the out-of-state visitors. “People have been pretty nice and they are respecting the system. It’s been fine.”
Greenwich officials, on the other hand, expressed some concern at the sudden influx of out-of-state traffic.
“It’s significantly increased the amount of traffic and use at the service stations, which is making it difficult for everybody,” Lt. Kraig Gray said. “Probably the best thing that would serve the residents from New York and New Jersey would be to drive a few minutes further up the line into Stamford, Darien or Norwalk where there are no lines. It’s in the best interest of everybody to keep the fuel as evenly distributed as possible.”