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Free fuel given out to Rockaway residents

TimesLedger Newspapers

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People wait on line with gas cans in Rockaway. Photo by Christina Santucci
Gloria Rivera and her daughter, also named Gloria, carry their container of fuel. Photo by Christina Santucci
People wait on line with gas cans in Rockaway. Photo by Christina Santucci
Brian Runestad drove nearly 3,000 miles from California to deliver gas. Photo by Christina Santucci
Gas is pumped into a car in Rockaway. Photo by Christina Santucci

Some relief at the pumps came to Rockaway residents Thursday afternoon when two fuel trucks were brought in to distribute free gas with assistance from the National Guard.

Hundreds waited in line to fill their gas cans at the Wave station near Beach 116th Street as a line of cars stretched back nearly to the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Gloria Rivera waited about an hour with her 4-year-old daughter, also named Gloria, to fill up a container for her generator.

Brian Runestad, who volunteers with the Fuel Relief Fund, drove out one of the trucks from southern California - a 2,900-mile trip that took 3 ½ days.

He said enough funds were raised by Fuel Relief Fund - a non-profit association to bring fuels to areas hit by disaster - that one truck would drive to Delaware and refuel. At about 4 p.m. Thursday, the truck that he had driven east still had about 6,000 gallons of gas to be doled out, he said.

Eventually, he planned to drive the fuel truck back to California.

“Whenever the money runs out, that’s when we’ll go back,” he said.

Reach photo editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4589.

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