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Drivers grapple with NYC gas rationing after Sandy

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent Friday visiting battered coastal areas in his state, from Sea Bright to Seaside Heights, calling the storm "our Katrina."

The governor said the long, difficult rebuilding period would begin in earnest next week and include the restoration of the state's most iconic attractions. But Christie, who said he spent his youth at the Jersey Shore and brought his children there, cautioned that it wouldn't look the same next summer as it did last summer.

He said power would be restored to nearly everyone in the state by Saturday night, and that he would likely decide by early next week whether to end gas rationing there.

In New York City, Angel Ventura, who drives a delivery van for a camera rental company, has taken to hunting for gasoline every time his gauge drops below a quarter of a tank. "It makes me crazy, thinking I might hit empty and not be able to find it," he said.

Industry officials first blamed the gas shortage on fuel stations that lost power but now say the problem has shifted to supply terminals, which are either shut or operating at reduced capacity. Drivers are also quicker to top off tanks because they're afraid gasoline won't be available, AAA spokesman Michael Green said.

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, said the densely populated New York-New Jersey area has fewer stations per capita than any other major metropolitan area, making the shortage an even bigger problem. He said rationing earlier might have helped in New York City; New Jersey implemented it last week.

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