Thunder Bay gas bars no longer on empty

Gas stations across Thunder Bay are recovering from a fuel shortage that left many drivers searching for a place to fill up this weekend.

Weekend fuel shortage ends as messy weather continues in much of eastern Canada

Gas stations across Thunder Bay had to deal with a fuel shortage this weekend. (CBC)

Gas stations across Thunder Bay are recovering from a fuel shortage that left many drivers searching for a place to fill up this weekend.

CBC News contacted seven gas bars in the city, most of which had run out of gasoline at some point over the weekend. Of those, only one station — Lakeside Husky on Cumberland Street — was still without regular-grade gasoline Sunday.

Three others — the gas bar at Canadian Superstore, and the Esso stations on Memorial Avenue and West Arthur Street — had regular gas on hand, but no premium.

Imperial Oil spokesperson Leanne Dohy. (Supplied)

A spokesperson for Imperial Oil, which owns Esso, said the shortages were caused by a combination of bad weather, which slowed down shipment by truck, and a backlog in the company's rail shipments.

"Imperial's supply network has flexibility in it to try and meet unexpected needs," Leanne Dohy said. "So we've been using that flexibility to try to minimize the customer impact."

In an email to CBC News, a Shell Canada spokesperson said, "We continue to receive additional product in Thunder Bay and are working to ensure our retail sites are re-stocked as quickly as possible. We regret any inconvenience this temporary supply disruption has caused our customers." 

Customers frustrated

At the Husky station on Alloy Drive, manager Waqas Altaf said the shortage didn't have much of an impact.

"We weren't too bad. It was just for a couple hours [on Saturday] we ran out," said Altaf, who also manages the Husky location on Cumberland.

"We're not 100 per cent sure what really happened [to cause the shortage]," he added, but said customers were frustrated.

"They're looking for gas, and they can't find gas, and they've been driving around all over the city," he said.

Altaf hoped that the station's fuel supply would be fully replenished by Monday or Tuesday.

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