Gas lines were building again Friday in the New York area ahead of the blizzard due to hit the region later Friday.
"The line for the River Edge BP is backed up to New Milford ," tweeted Brelyn Kirk, referring to two neighboring towns in northern New Jersey.
But experts say it's a result of panic buying caused by bad memories of Superstorm Sandy rather than any likely gas shortages.
Many lines were stretching for blocks again, and there were some gas stations that were running out of gas, particularly in New Jersey on New York's Long Island, where prolonged power outages following Sandy made gas a difficult-to-find commodity for a couple of weeks.
"It's a Sandy hangover, that's a good name for it," said Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline, C-Store and Automotive Association, the trade group for gas station owners. "Everybody is in a panic because of the last storm."
But Risalvato and other experts said people need not worry about prolonged shortages like the ones after Sandy that led to periods of gas rationing.
"Last time there was damage at the distribution system," he said. "Any delivery interruptions will be very short term, I'm talking hours."
Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, said the storm is actually likely to create excess supplies of gas in the affected area by keeping people off the roads and thus suppressing demand. But he said the memories of the last storm is probably causing more topping-off than usual, and some short-term shortages.
"A typical station has 15,000 gallons or so. If you have 1,000 cars filling up, it can run out fairly quickly," he said. "But it's just bad behavior."