The government of British Columbia has extended a limit of 30-liter fuel purchases until December 14 to preserve supplies for emergency vehicles and vital vehicles responding to the heavy rains and severe floods that have hit the southwestern part of the province.
The order was introduced on 19 November and was originally due to expire on 1 December.
The rationing applies to both gas and diesel and limits buyers to 30 liters per. trip to gas stations and fuel suppliers located in:
- Lower Mainland
- Sea to sky region.
- Sunshine Coast.
- Gulf Islands.
- Vancouver Island.
Essential vehicles will continue to have unrestricted access to fuel as needed, primarily through the use of commercial trucks or cardlock gas stations.
The Trans Mountain pipeline is still closed
Government officials said continued rationing is necessary because the Trans Mountain pipeline, which supplies southwestern BC with 85 percent of its fuel for refining, remains closed from recent floods and mudslides.
“Trans Mountain is expected to be back soon, though they have had some minor setbacks,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low CO2 Innovation.
“They need to make sure the pipeline is safe to operate before they start up again. The plan is to bring it back with a reduced pressure, but they are not ready to do that yet.”
Meanwhile, the province has brought supplementary gas and diesel from Alberta by rail and barge from the United States.
Ralston urged people to drive only if necessary, reduce gas consumption and take public transportation.
40-70 mm of rain is expected
Mike Farnworth, Secretary of State for Public Safety and Advocate General, said rationing has been effective in overcoming the fuel supply challenges caused by the recent extreme rainfall, floods and mudslides.
“People in this province have done the right thing,” he said. “Everyone should be really proud. We have been able to maintain emergency services and keep supply lines open.”
Farnworth said BC is also extending the declaration of a state of emergency to Dec. 14, with at least two more storms expected to hit BC in the coming days.
The outlook calls for an additional 40 to 70 millimeters of rain to fall on flood-prone Abbotsford from Tuesday, with even higher amounts in the surrounding mountains.
“The system we are tracking is an atmospheric river coming from subtropical origin, the Philippines, and it will deliver a relatively strong blow similar to what we saw over the weekend,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan.
“It’s not just a rain event; it’s not just a snowmelt event; it’s also a successive storm event … It’s going to be problematic because [the storms] comes so close to back to back with the runoff and the saturated soil. ”
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