Nfld. & Labrador

Hopedale runs out of gas while Nain gets its fill

Fuel delivery was expedited to the northern Labrador community of Nain, while another coastal community has now run out of gas.

Woodward Group of Companies says ship will arrive in Hopedale Tuesday morning

Gas returned to Hopedale Tuesday morning after the tanks went dry last Friday. (John Gaudi/CBC)

Hopedale has become the second community on Labrador's northern coast to run out of fuel in just the past week, although a shortage has ended in Nain. 

"I think this is ridiculous [in] this day and age to have to always be looking out whether we have gas or diesel in our communities," said Marjorie Flowers, AngajukKak — or mayor — of Hopedale.

Fuel was being rationed out to people last week, with only 10 gallons allotted per person.

Flowers said the community had run out altogether by Friday evening.

The ship carrying fuel for the Woodward Group of Companies bypassed Hopedale late last week to fill the tanks in Nain, which had run out earlier. 

Hopedale AngajukKak Marjorie Flowers would like to see more tanks added to the Woodward's tank farm. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Woodward's told CBC News that its ship will arrive in Hopedale on Tuesday morning to make the delivery.

"I'm sure if they were in a city providing a service, they wouldn't provide the same kind of service here," Flowers said.

"It's not the first time this has happened," she said pointing out that diesel fuel had run out completely before the ship came in this spring, and gas for vehicles ran out completely in 2016 as well. 

Flowers said if the Woodward's doesn't have enough tanks to keep the community fully stocked, it's time to invest in more.

"This town is growing, more vehicles here, more contract work, so obviously, they're burning more fuel," she said. 

On the go again

In the meantime, the community of Nain is on the go again. AngajukKak Joe Dicker said the tanker arrived there Saturday evening and started filling the tanks.

This is the first time the community has run completely dry, according to Dicker.

"I was shocked," he said.

"[Woodward's] estimated that, you know, the fuel, was going to last long enough before the boat got there but somebody's estimation was quite off."

Nain AngajukKak Joe Dicker says he hopes nothing like this ever happens again. (CBC)

Dicker and Flowers each voiced concerns about the fact that there was no indication from Woodward's about the low levels and what that could have meant for essential and emergency services in the communities. Usually, if the levels get low, Dicker said, they have a tank come in before it can run out. 

"It's too critical for the communities for this to happen," he said.

"I'm hoping the situation that happened here this week will never happen again."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Labrador Morning