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Dave Ross

Race among the ruins

People line up at a gas station waiting to fill up on Friday in Newark, N.J. In parts of New York and New Jersey, drivers lined up early Friday for hours at gas stations that were struggling to stay supplied. (AP Photo)

Editor’s note: After this story was published, the New York City Marathon was canceled.

A lot of New Yorkers can’t believe the mayor would let the New York City marathon go on.

He wants to show the world how resilient the city is, plus it brings in money, and supports a lot of charities – all good things. But thousands of recreational runners smartly jogging past neighborhoods that have been torn apart? This Staten Island politician doesn’t get it:

“The fact that the mayor wants to have a marathon this weekend when we have people who lost their lives or lost their entire house is unbelievable to me.”

You know what they should do? Give all the runners jugs of gasoline that they can drop off as they run. And I’m not sure I’m even kidding about that. This happens in every major storm, the gas lines:

“I’m coming from Queens to get this. Gotta have it.”
“There’s no gas in the Bronx, uptown Manhattan, nothing. Only this station.”

The weak point of American civilization is the gas station and the kicker is it’s not for lack of gas. There’s plenty of gas, just no way to pump it.

The richest nation in history; is one superstorm away from the third world.

Except the third world has a backup plan. Years ago, I was in the old Soviet Union and we hired a guy to drive us from Leningrad to Moscow through a countryside in perpetual depression with no gas stations. But our driver would keep an eye out for a tanker truck and he would follow it. Eventually it would pull to the side of the road and the truck driver would sell some gas.

It worked. We got there. Saved by the black market.

Yet here in America? No power, no gas. You would think with all that anti-terrorism money, someone by now would have figured out a way to drop off generators at the gas stations.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

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