B.C. extends gas rationing order, state of emergency until Dec. 14

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The ongoing impacts of a series of intense storms on B.C.'s South Coast have prompted the government to extend its gasoline rationing order and state of emergency for another two weeks.

Deputy Premier Mike Farnworth announced the extensions on Monday, as communities grappled with fresh flooding and new highway closures caused by the latest atmospheric river to reach the province's southwest.

"The significant weather that we have seen continues to create challenges," Farnworth said. "The fuel conservation measures are working and I want to thank British Columbians for their patience, but we need to stay the course for another two weeks."

The rationing order is now scheduled to remain in place until Dec. 14, allowing more time to get the Trans Mountain pipeline operational again.

That pipeline, which normally carries roughly 300,000 barrels of oil from Alberta to Burnaby per day, has been shut down since the historic storm that struck two weeks ago.

Under the order, drivers of non-essential vehicles are only allowed to fill up 30 litres of gasoline per stop at stations across the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.

The measure is designed to ensure commercial and emergency vehicles can continue operating throughout the province's storm response, and amid continuing supply chain problems.

The province-wide state of emergency will remain in place throughout Dec. 14 as well. Farnworth said that will bolster the government's "response and recovery from the widespread damage already caused by flooding, while positioning us to take all necessary steps in the days ahead."

B.C. is bracing for its third atmospheric river in less than a week to arrive on Tuesday, delivering more heavy rain to communities that remain flooded from previous storms.

- with files from CTV -

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