One Month After Hurricane Sandy

Gasoline flowing again at Sheetz; Riggins thanks Gov. Christie

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

ALTOONA, Pa. & VINELAND, N.J. -- A month after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, area convenience store retailers are finding supply issues returning to normal and commending local officials for their management efforts following the so-called superstorm.

While not terribly affected by the storm when it hit, retailer Sheetz Inc., Altoona, Pa., found itself struggling to maintain gasoline supply at about 50 of its gasoline stations in eastern Pennsylvania the week of Thanksgiving. "[Supply has] been tight since the storm, but it's really bottoming out now," spokesperson Monica Jones said at the time.

Refineries that had been shut down were back online, putting more gasoline back into the supply chain, but found themselves "pulling double duty now" as retailers restocked and consumer refueled their vehicles.

Today, supply is back on track, Jones told CSP Daily News yesterday. "All stores affected by the supply issue were back up and running last Tuesday, Nov. 20," she said. "We have not had any outages since."

Meanwhile, Riggins Oil CEO Paul Riggins applauded the Christie Administration’s response in New Jersey to the gasoline crisis following superstorm Sandy. Riggins Oil, one of the largest New Jersey-based distributors of gasoline and diesel, also released internal data on its response efforts to the unprecedented devastation caused by the storm.

“Gov. Christie’s team worked night and day with Riggins to get the gasoline and emergency generator fuel to the places that needed it most," Riggins said. "His administration’s work to clear bureaucratic hurdles and quickly implement common sense solutions helped limit the damage and speed the recovery. Given the magnitude of the storm and the impact on the industry’s infrastructure, it could have been a whole lot worse were it not for Gov. Christie’s leadership.”

Riggins said his company experienced a 75% increase in call volume in the two weeks following the storm.

Riggins Oil survived the storm with minimal damage to its core operations and was able to continuously access supplies of gasoline, diesel and heating oil after the storm through its distribution network with access to ports in Delaware, Philadelphia and New York. In the two weeks following Sandy, Riggins distributed more than 7 million gallons of fuel throughout the region.

Matt Riggins, strategy director, said the top priority for the company during the response was to supply fuel to critical infrastructure providing basic services like water and sewer, as well as to essential elements of the emergency response effort, such as emergency generators at fire and police stations, hospitals, military bases and communications towers. Riggins Oil supplied more than 1 million gallons of fuel to 680 government entities across the affected regions and delivered more than 5.5 million gallons of fuel to 1,300 gasoline service stations.

Vineland, N.J.-based Riggins Oil Inc., family owned and operated since 1926, is a Southern New Jersey business, providing a wide range of energy solutions to consumer, commercial and government customers. Riggins Oil has more than 30 Riggins gasoline stations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, and offers wholesale and retail delivery of gasoline, heating oil, diesel and more to customers throughout the region.

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News
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