Some Ottawa gas stations running out of fuel amid high demand, long lineups
Some stations in Ottawa-Gatineau region were damaged Saturday, others have no power and some have no supply
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."
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.
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.
Yesterday my car was on fumes. We visited 6 gas stations before finding one that was open. Waited 2 hours in a lineup, but we got a full tank and are mobile again. Yup. 🙏.—@ShaunScholtzUX
We got gas on Bronson around 7pm tonight. We were driving around the west end into Kanata for close to an hour before we got a sighting of an open station from my parents.—@CraigTaillefer