Ottawa

Some Ottawa gas stations running out of fuel amid high demand, long lineups

Saturday's damaging, fatal windstorm has made it difficult to get fuel in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Some gas stations have closed due to damage or lack of power, while others have simply run out of supply.

Some stations in Ottawa-Gatineau region were damaged Saturday, others have no power and some have no supply

Drivers have been lining up to buy gas as some stations due to increased demand and lack of supply, as in this station in the Ottawa Valley municipality of Mississippi Mills, Ont., on Monday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Saturday's damaging, fatal windstorm has made it difficult to get fuel in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Some gas stations have closed due to damage or lack of power, while others have simply run out of supply.

Long lines have been reported at some stations that do have fuel. Others are operating close to normal.

All this comes after the major wind and thunderstorm blew down trees and hydro equipment across a wide swath of eastern Ontario and parts of western Quebec, leaving tens of thousands of customers without power for nearly 72 hours.

Gas is in demand for driving to get supplies, traveling to places with power and running generators and other storm clean-up equipment like chainsaws, blowers and more.

"It's been a concern for the last couple of days," said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson on CBC News Network Tuesday morning.

"Some [gas] stations have lots of gas, but no power, so they can't pump the gas. Other stations have run out of gasoline."

WATCH | Ottawa's mayor gives a Tuesday morning update: 

Ottawa faces problems at pumps after storm

1 month ago
Duration 6:32
Ottawa should see most power restored by week's end, says mayor Jim Watson, noting some gas stations can't pump gas right now without power.

The president of MacEwen Gas, which owns and operates many gas stations in the Ottawa area, said Tuesday that some of their stations have no power and there is increased demand and lineups at their stations with power.

Peter MacEwen also said some fuel distribution centres in Ottawa have experienced power disruptions.

That means fuel truck drivers have had to travel longer distances — to Montreal, for example — to get gas to bring to stations in Ottawa.

Several gas stations were left without power in the aftermath of Saturday's violent storm, while others have run out of fuel amid higher demand

Powering gas stations specifically not a priority, Hydro Ottawa says

Because climate change is causing more volatile weather, Watson said it could be a good idea to require gas stations to have generator backup.

When asked about powering up gas stations, Hydro Ottawa said its primary focus has been getting institutions that serve the community back on the grid, such as hospitals, long-term care and water treatment facilities.

They're also focusing on making repairs that return power to the highest numbers of customers at once, Joseph Muglia, Hydro Ottawa's director of system operations and grid automation, told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning on Tuesday.

"Bringing the gas stations up is more of a byproduct of bringing certain circuits up. Again, we're trying our best to bring up those circuits that would bring back the most number of customers … It's wherever we can pick things up the fastest and the safest, of course," he said.

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