Greater Victoria gas stations running dry due to Malahat closures, but experts say don't panic
Supply chain experts are urging Vancouver Islanders to not panic-buy fuel as some stations run low, or have totally run out of gasoline Wednesday.
The province's recent rainstorm has hampered supply chains in B.C., including on Vancouver Island.
On Wednesday morning, all fuel except for premium-grade gas was sold out at the Peninsula Co-op gas station on West Saanich Road near Keating Cross Road.
Down the street, near Old Field Road, another Co-op station is behind yellow tape as it has completely run out of fuel.
Staff said that they receive re-supplies from trucks that travel on the Malahat highway, and recent closures mean they haven't been receiving as much fuel as they normally do.
"Everything you get, particularly your day-to-day consumables, you're still going to get them," said David Earl, president of the B.C. Trucking Association on Wednesday,
"They will just take longer and you might not have quick selection."
Earl says Vancouver Island is in a much better position than some Lower Mainland gas stations, which currently don’t know when re-supply will come.
The Malahat highway is open to single-lane alternating traffic, which will allow goods like fuel to continue to flow.
Wait times are a concern, however, as crossing the mountain highway can leave vehicles stuck in traffic jams for hours.
A damaged portion of the Malahat highway is shown: Nov. 17, 2021 (Province of B.C. / Flickr)
"Products will be late and we’ll see delays," said Earl. "And there will be follow-on delays. But the good news it’s still moving."
Officials with Co-op say their fuel trucks normally travel overnight and were caught off guard when the province shut down the road Tuesday evening.
It’s expected several re-supply vehicles will arrive on the South Island on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Petro Canada on Sayward Road has already had a fuel truck arrive.
'HOARDING WILL LEAD TO SHORTAGES'
The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is calling for consumer calm.
"RCC urges shoppers in B.C. to avoid a repeat of the panic buying of some supplies that was seen during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic," said the council in a social media post Wednesday.
"Consumer hoarding will lead to shortages," said the RCC.
B.C. Premier John Horgan also encouraged residents to think of other British Columbians as repairs are underway.
"Please do not hoard items," he said at a live update Wednesday, when the province declared a state of emergency.
"What you need your neighbours need as well."