Gas tanks full, but Hopedale fuel woes remain: AngajukKak

When a fuel ship pulled into the docks on Labrador's northern coast Tuesday morning, it marked the end of a short-term shortage in Hopedale. 

Before tanks ran dry last Friday evening, fuel was being rationed around the community, with a limit of 10 gallons (about 38 litres) per household.

While the fuel serves as a relief for the region, some residents believe the fix is only temporary.

"We actually ran out of diesel earlier in this year before the oil boat came in," Hopedale AngajukKak Marjorie Flowers told Labrador Morning before the fuel boat came in Tuesday morning.

"And in 2016 we ran out of gas as well."

Jacob Barker/CBC

Flowers said a lack of gas in the region is becoming more common over the past few years.

"It happens to be almost a regular occurrence now," Flowers said.

"A total frustration for us"

She attributes this lack of fuel to the continued growth in the region. Flowers said it's something the Woodward Group of Companies, the fuel and fuel tank supplier to the region, should take into account when dealing with fuel to the region.

"The amount of vehicles that has come into our community is just unreal," Flowers said. 

"We're burning more fuel … and there doesn't seem to be very much communication between the supplier and the town."

Flowers added that the lack of fuel can also disrupt major community and medical services.

"It's a total frustration for us who live in the communities. It's also very dangerous for us to be in this situation with the lack of fuel for emergency services," Flowers said. 

"They still have to do runs for medevacs and we can't operate. It's just a big mess."

John Gaudi/CBC

According to Flowers, events like Cain's Quest, a snowmobile endurance race that runs through Labrador, could also cause a fuel problem down the road.

"If [the racers] are coming through our communities, they will be taking a lot of the fuel we would normally be using to get us through the spring," Flowers said. "So I hope [Woodward Group of Companies] take that into account as well."

Brand new tanks will help with supply

With the arrival of fuel Tuesday morning, Hopedale now has 12 tanks for gasoline and diesel fuel storage. Two brand new tanks, installed within the last year and capable of holding 100,000 litres each, were filled for the first time.

Hopedale now holds about 1.5 million litres of fuel. A Woodward official told CBC News the company feels this is enough to meet demand, even with an event like the Cain's Quest snowmobile race this winter. 

Woodward adds Nain, which was refuelled this weekend, will receive four new 100,000-litre tanks, which should be installed by the next fuel delivery on Nov. 24. 

Makkovik now houses eight tanks of fuel.

Postville will also receive upgrades in the coming year.

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