Canadian province sets gas, travel restrictions after floods

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The British Columbia government announced Friday it is limiting the amount of fuel people can purchase at gas stations in some parts of the province and is restricting non-essential travel as highways begin to reopen following torrential rains that caused floods and mudslides.

Provincial Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said non-essential vehicles will be limited to about 8 gallons (30 liters) per trip to the gas station. The order is expected to last until Dec. 1.

“These steps will keep commercial traffic moving, stabilize our supply chains and make sure everyone gets home safely,” Farnworth told a news conference. “We are asking people not to travel through severely affected areas, for their own well-being, but also to make sure the fuel we do have goes toward the services people need in this time of crisis.”

The precautionary closure of the Trans Mountain Pipeline during the flooding has raised concerns about a fuel shortage in province’s Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Assessments of the pipeline continue.

The government also has prohibited non-essential travel on sections of highways 99, 3 and 7.

Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said vehicles transporting essential products or delivering vital services can use the highways. So can people returning to their principle residents after being stranded.

“It is not open to recreational or non-essential travel,” he said.