Hunt for gas forcing many to drive across Ottawa to fill up cars, generators
City officials say gas supply issues and long lineups at the pumps should be resolved as soon as hydro is restored.
Since the massive storm hit the capital Saturday, many gas stations were heavily damaged, while others were left without power and unable to pump gas. That has led to long lineups at the gas stations that do have power, and the increased demand has forced many to run out of fuel during the day.
“Our EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) has identified that the three main suppliers have had powers issues and that is one of the issues,” General Manager of Emergency & Protectives Services Kim Ayotte says. “I was out on the road today, there were service stations open, not long lineups.”
Ayotte says the situation is improving. He adds the city’s supply is stable.
“We are there to help, we have reached out,” Ayotte said. “I know from a city supply perspective, our supply chain has been good and we have a full supply from an emergency perspective. We continue to work on that and continue to assess it.”
However, it has been a frustrating few days for many drivers on the hunt to fill up. Michael Skeggs runs a landscaping company and says it has been like “a treasure hunt” to find fuel for his company’s fleet.
“We will call it gold! That’s what we will call it, because everyone is trying to find it, some people are really anxious. Everyone is in full on panic mode,” he tells CTV News.
Frank Ondrovik lives near Merivale Road, one of the hardest hit areas. He was forced to drive around the city to find gas not just for his truck, but for the generator powering his home.
“We lost power at home, so I am doing both,” he said. “My business is also around the corner and we have no power, so it has been quite the adventure.”
One station on Carling Avenue ran out of regular gas shortly after the lunch hour, but was selling Ultra gas for the same price. Veronica Morales was one driver who arrived to fill up, very close to empty. “This morning I came here, they had regular, but the line-up was so big, I left, then I came back, and they are selling ultra for the same price.”