How desperate were Vancouverites to get their hands on the free salt being offered at 10 city fire halls?

Really desperate, as it turns out.

Icy streets and sidewalks have made life miserable for pedestrians and drivers alike thanks to an unusual cold snap that has gripped Vancouver for almost a month. 

free salt

People fill their buckets with free salt at Firehall 13 in the Riley Park neighbourhood. (Dillon Hodgin/CBC)

One person desperate for the free salt was caught in the middle of the night attempting to load up a truck and garbage cans — even though the publicly stated opening time was 9 a.m. PT.

Others showed up an hour in advance, and long salt lines formed around the fire halls. 

By 10 a.m. the free salt was gone, leading some to describe the situation as a #saltcrisis on social media.

The City of Vancouver provided more salt later in the day, but people were restricted to one bucket instead of two.

While the salt was originally going to be available until 8 p.m., the city's supply was extinguished by 3:30 p.m.

The city says a new patch will be delivered to fire halls between 8 a.m. and noon on Thursday. 

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