Delays due to storms, the mayor added, ‘‘have happened before. They spring up very quickly, and they go away very quickly. We basically have a supply system — as it comes in we use it. If it stops coming in, we’re in trouble.’’
But keeping perspective could be a challenge as the gas lines lengthened.
Many service centers along the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike were so full that cars trying to pass at highway speeds sometimes had to swerve to avoid them.
New Jersey planned to move to a gas-rationing system in 12 counties in the northern part of the state.
Gov. Chris Christie ordered the rationing to help ease fuel shortages and long lines at gas stations. Starting at noon Saturday, residents with license plates ending in an even number will be able to buy gas only on even-numbered days. Those with plates ending in an odd number can purchase gas on odd-numbered days.
In Connecticut, traffic jams created by New Yorkers exiting from Interstate 95 to take advantage of the stations that were open were ‘‘making it difficult for everybody,’’ said Greenwich police Lt. Kraig Gray.
Police monitored lines in many places, including a Hess station in Fort Lee, N.J., where an officer was seen ordering a man out of line after sneaking in from a side street.
Among those waiting there, Kenneth Kelly of Englewood Cliffs took it all in stride.
‘‘It ain’t that bad. I could be in Queens,’’ he said, referring to the confrontations there. ‘‘I've seen a lot of bad in my life, people getting sick and things like that. This is what I call an inconvenience. Now, losing something like a house, that would be bad.’’
Associated Press writers David Porter, Katie Zezima and Richard Pienciak in New Jersey; Amanda Barrett, Eileen AJ Connelly, Meghan Barr and Jennifer Peltz in New York; and Alicia Caldwell in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.