Lines of cars stretched from gas stations down roads and highway ramps as New Jersey motorists scrambled for fuel amid fears of a gas shortage.
The wait to fill tanks took more than an hour for many, the Associated Press reported
, and across the state traffic backed up for half a mile or more. Gas, food and other supplies came into short supply in the wake of devastating super storm Sandy that struck the region earlier this week.
Gurdey Singh, a Newark gas attendant, had never seen business so brisk.
"We’ve never had anything like this before. People were waiting when we opened at 6:30 a.m. and they were out here last night until (midnight)," Singh told the Star-Ledger.
Experts say a bigger problem is consumers seeing lines and panicking, rushing to the pump in a herd mentality that worsens as lines grow. The scene in New Jersey has been described as chaos, with many residents worrying about price gouging, according to the Bergen Record.
"Unfortunately, that’s very typical behavior after a hurricane," Gregg Laskoski, an analyst with trend-watching gasoline website GasBuddy told the Star-Ledger. "Even if they know their car is going to stay parked, they still panic and go and fill up the tank. It exacerbates the problem."
Because many filling stations across the region still lacked power, those that did saw incredible booms in business.
Wednesday, Gov. Chris Christie directed New Jersey treasury officials to waive out-of-state fuel licensing requirements, making it easier for some fuel stations to be supplied.
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