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Chilliwack motorists rush to the pump fearing gas shortage as city cut off from highway access

With Chilliwack cut off from Edmonton and Burnaby, a long term gas shortage might be a thing

Chilliwackians rushed to the pump Tuesday (Nov. 16), worried that the city will soon run out of gas.

Gas stations all over town had lineups four or five cars deep by early afternoon. At CANCO on Vedder Road, Debbie Purser said she wasn’t surprised to see a parade of people waiting to fill up.

“I was talking to my daughter this morning and she said, ‘If you need gas you’d better get it because nobody can get here, so no gas trucks are going to be able to get in,’” Purser said. “I’m very grateful she gave me the heads up on that. I called a friend and told her the same thing, and she’s going to try and get gas as well.”

Another customer, Kay Reimer, was shocked when she pulled into the CANCO parking lot at lunch time.

“I didn’t want to go after work because it’d be too dark, and when I got here it was just crazy,” she said. “I just want to get back to work.”

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CANCO owner Jod Singh had his hands full monitoring the pumps and helping customers in the store.

“This morning we had 30,000 litres, and since the morning we’ve sold around 8,000,” he said. “So we still have 22,000 litres, and that should last us until tomorrow evening at least, but we’ll see how it goes. I think everyone will try to get gas today and it will slow down tomorrow, so I’m pretty sure we should be good.”

Long term though, Singh said a gas shortage could be a real thing.

“If gas stations are getting it from Burnaby and Highway 1 is closed at Abbotsford, it’ll be tough to get to get it from that side, and if they’re getting it from Edmonton, then the Coquihalla Highway will make it tough to get it as well,” Singh said. “I think there’s going to be a gas shortage for quite some time.”

Singh’s gas station is independent, and once-a-week gas delivery from Burnaby is enough. But this week, he expects he’ll need another delivery.

“I hope I’ll get it, but it’ll all depend on the situation with the highway,” Singh said. “If we run out of gas then we’ll keep the store open and shut the pumps down.”


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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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