BC UPDATE: Gas rationed to 30 liters / visit, travel limited for 10 days, Merritt can redirect river | MCU Times

BC UPDATE: Gas rationed to 30 liters / visit, travel limited for 10 days, Merritt can redirect river

Coldwater River is approaching the village’s treatment infrastructure

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The British Columbia government is rationing gasoline and restricting travel on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, southwestern parts of the province and the Sunshine Coast after this week’s unprecedented storm cut off highways and cut off supply lines.

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Secretary of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said a limit of 30 gallons of fuel per gallon. Visiting a gas station is an important step in maintaining supply as the province works to bring in more gas by truck and barge from the states of Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California.

He said the order would be valid for 10 to 11 days and he trusts people will not be greedy while keeping critical services in mind as they focus on residents whose communities have been devastated by floods.

He says the police will not enforce the rule of 30 liters per. visit, but will trust that the residents “do the right thing.”

Farnworth says that if people follow the restrictions, BC’s gas supply will last for the next 10 to 11 days.

He says gas stations are required to ensure their supplies last until Dec. 1 in the southwest BC, Sea To Sky region, Sunshine Coast, Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.

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Farnworth said unnecessary travel has also been banned on sections of Highways 99, 3 and 7 as of Friday, and passage through restricted areas will be reserved for commercial transportation of such goods as food, water and medical supplies.

“As the roads are repaired and the backlog of important traffic disappears, restrictions on essential travel can and will be eased. We will release the details of enforcement within a short time,” he said.

“But my hope is that everyone understands the need for these restrictions and cooperates fully. In other words, if you do not have to travel right now, do not. Stay home. And if you can not, take the carpool or take public transport or work from home. “

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Merritt officials are working with the state Department of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources on what the city called the “new course” of the Coldwater River.

The city, which is flooded by floods, says the river is now much closer to Merritt’s wastewater treatment infrastructure, causing problems with its operation.

An update posted on Merritt’s Facebook page Friday says the city and ministry are beginning to investigate whether it would be possible to divert the river to its original course, even though no plans exist yet.

BC Agriculture Secretary Lana Popham says affected farmers will be eligible for the province’s disaster relief, and she has been assured by her federal counterpart that there would also be support from that jurisdiction.

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Highways throughout the southern part of the province suffered major damage, and some, such as Coquihalla, will not be rebuilt for several months, while limited access has been restored to others with one-lane traffic allowed.

Transport Minister Rob Fleming said Highway 3 from Hope to the southern interior of the province was open for major travel, and Highway 99, which connects with Highway 97 north of Cache Creek, may be open on Sunday depending on whether crews can continue their work. .

“I want to emphasize that this will not be travel as we would expect under normal conditions. Crews will be on site with heavy equipment to continue repairing the roads. And until that work is completed, traffic will be slow on these routes. . “

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