As Falkland’s lone gas station is closed for renovations, some Falkland residents are upset with the perceived lack of communication.
Val Woida, owner of the Highland Motel that lies across from Falkland’s Petro Canada on Highway 97, said the hotel has seen several visitors who are low on gas.
“I get three to five people a day coming to the hotel saying, ‘I’ve run out of gas,’ and they’re distraught,” Woida said. “There’s no sign outside of town or a warning.”
Woida said the notice of the closure for renovations was circulated via social media and is posted on the side of the gas station, but said it isn’t likely that everyone saw the message.
According to Rene Talbot, Columbia Shuswap Regional District director of electoral area D, the Petro Canada was originally intended to reopen Saturday, Feb. 23. However, that date has since been pushed back to March 1.
Nicole Fisher, Suncor Energy spokesperson, confirmed the extension.
“The site is currently closed due to renovations,” Fisher said. “The timeline on these renovations has been extended due to adverse weather conditions. However, we are working to re-open as quickly as possible.”
Woida said that the workers are doing a good job and that the renovations appear to be moving along, but said further notice and attention to the closure is needed.
“I really feel for them (drivers who run out of fuel),” Woida said. “Looking at that gas gauge and thinking you’ve run out of gas isn’t fun.”
In an effort to further help those in need of fuel, Woida said some Falkland residents have filled up jerry cans with petrol. And, when people come to the hotel looking for gasoline, she directs them to these sources.
“You fill up with two litres or five litres and then just pray that you make it, which isn’t fun either,” Woida said. “They (Petro Canada) are working hard and trying to get it done. It will be a nice fixture for Falkland, but more communication would have been nice.”