New York City rations gasoline purchases

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg visits his local polling station to vote in the 2012 presidential election in New York on November 6, 2012. From a symbolic hamlet to a critical swing state neighboring the halls of power in Washington to the storm-scarred streets of metropolitan New York, Americans rose early to cast ballots for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.AFP PHOTO/Mehdi Taamallah

NEW YORK—New York City responded to persistent gasoline shortages in the wake of superstorm Sandy by ordering rationing Thursday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that from Friday, only cars with license plates ending in odd numbers would be allowed to fill up on odd-numbered dates. Cars with plates ending in an even number or a zero will be eligible on even-numbered days.

“This is not a step that we take lightly,” Bloomberg told a press conference, noting that measures to ease the flow of fuel supplies had not worked well enough.

“Only 25 percent of our gas stations we estimate are open,” he added. “Frustrations are only growing and it now appears there will be shortages for possibly another couple weeks.”

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