Some gas stations run out of fuel as LIers fill up

A blizzard warning is officially in effect, as Long Islanders braced for a winter storm that could dump more than a foot of snow and winds strong enough to blow down trees and knock out power to thousands of homes. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser (Feb. 8)

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Barely three months after superstorm Sandy left a large number of service stations without gas, some Long Islanders made like doomsday preppers as they raced to fill up in advance of a wicked winter snowstorm.

Outside some stations in Nassau and Suffolk Thursday night and Friday morning, gas lines ran dozens of cars deep. Some stations even ran out of gas.

Gas station owner Kevin Beyer said the line stretched more than 1/4-mile outside his Performance Fuels station Thursday night on Veterans Highway in Smithtown.

By the morning, his station had run out of gas, but a tanker was there to restore his fuel.

"It's inevitable, because of the run on it," Beyer said Friday morning.

Motorists were taking precautions, topping off their vehicle gas tanks -- and filling containers of gasoline for generators, just in case there are power outages like those suffered in Sandy, Beyer said.

"I can't blame them, this time," Beyer, who also serves as president of the Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association, which represents more than 800 independent gas stations.

"I think after what happened last time, people are afraid. People have no faith in LIPA to begin with. That's a big reason. People are a lot more panicked this time."

Abid Rana, 48, of Dix Hills, stopped at the Hess gas station on Route 110 in Melville on Friday to top of his gas tank.

"I saw all the people in line getting gas and I thought I should, too," Rana said, adding that the line of cars reminded him of the lines after Sandy.

Across the street, at a Mobil station at the corner of Route 110 and Smith Street, station owner Robert Degirmenci, 40, said he had 12,000 gallons of gasoline delivered on Thursday at 4 p.m. -- and his tanks were dry by 4 a.m. Friday. All he had left was diesel.

Usually, Degirmenci said, his delivery supply lasts about two to three days -- not just 12 hours.

"People are panicking," he said, noting one customer came in to fill up -- and took just two gallons of gas. "That's the problem."

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