British Columbia: Petrol rations after Canada storm – BBC News

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Canadian Armed Forces have been assisting with search and rescue missions in the wake of the floods

A Canadian province is rationing petrol over fuel shortage fears after a major storm cut off road and rail links.

Canadian Armed Forces personnel have begun arriving in British Columbia to help with recovery efforts in the flood-stricken region.

On Friday the province issued travel restrictions and rations on petrol, just a few days after declaring a state of emergency.

At least one person has been confirmed dead, but more deaths are expected.

British Columbia Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said non-essential traffic would be restricted while they rebuild the highway network. Fearing a fuel shortage, he called on people only to fill their vehicles with 30 litres per trip to the petrol station until 1 December.

He did not say how close the province was to running out of gas, and said he would not send police to enforce the ration.

“It’s 10 to 11 days where we have to pull together as a province, if we’re greedy, we’ll fail,” he told media on Friday.

“The overwhelming majority of people will do the right thing,” he added.

With major highways shut and the Canadian Pacific rail line facing multiple track outages, the federal government is looking into alternatives to help supplies flow into the affected area.

US border officials have allowed truckers who don’t usually cross the border to access roads so they can deliver supplies, the province says.

As of Friday, approximately 14,000 residents were still displaced from their homes. A major agricultural region, almost 1,000 farms are under an evacuation order and thousands of farm animals have already been trapped and killed by the floods.

More than 100 soldiers have been deployed to the area so far and more stand by. Helicopters stationed on Vancouver Island and other’s parts of British Columbia might also be called on to ferry supplies and emergency personnel or evacuate residents.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to “to do more to help people directly.”

Plans to build a 2.5 km levee were scrapped in favour of building a dike. Heavy rains are expected to sweep through the area next week.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Abbotsford mayor Henry Braun said that water levels are still rising in several areas near the town.

“We are not out of this thing by a long shot,” Mr Braun said.

He estimated that repairing Abbotsford after the storm may cost up to C$1bn ($790m, £590m).