Both stations pumping and no lines

JULIE LANE PHOTO Tom Speeches at the Piccozzi’s Service Station pumps Monday morning.

“It’s the law.”

That was the response Monday morning operators at both O’s Place and Piccozzi’s Service Station gave to drivers when asked why they’re enforcing the odd-even policy even when drivers can buy fuel without lines waiting to fill up.

O’s got a gasoline delivery Sunday morning, after more than a week without gas, but as of Monday morning only had regular and diesel fuel,  selling regular for $4.50 a gallon, while the price for diesel fuel is $4.99. At Piccozzi’s, regular fuel is priced at $4.49 with premium selling for $4.49 per gallon. But because of flooding damage at Piccozzi’s, only one pump dispenses premium fuel, according to Tom Speeches. He’s waiting for a service call on the problem from a company up Island.

But the wary pump operators haven’t forgotten the long gasoline lines of the last few weeks. While they’re optimistic the worst is behind for East End drivers, they’re cautious, recognizing that whatever happens at refineries could still have a domino effect even as far east as Shelter Island.

The prices reflect the higher cost station owners have to pay for fuel, Ms. Toth said. “Our price is based on what we pay for gasoline and nothing else,” she said.

Just before Sandy hit, prices were beginning to drop, but gasoline became a precious commodity after the storm with fewer refineries able to supply fuel because of a lack of electricity and more demand to run generators as well as vehicles.

Both Mr. Speeches and Liz Toth at O’s Place predicted that the days of long gas lines are over — at least in response to Sandy’s wrath.

“I don’t see that lasting too long either,” Ms. Toth said about the odd-even gas dispensing system imposed on Long Island and in New York City.

“[Governor]Cuomo should have done it from the beginning,” Mr. Speeches said about the odd-even system, speculating that it might have saved the East End from long gasoline lines altogether.