NAIN - Residents of communities on the north coast of Labrador breathed a collective sigh of relief last week as the overdue fuel supply ship MV Nanny finally arrived.
Nain started rationing fuel Nov. 9 to $50 per household anticipating a shipment around Nov. 15 or 16. The ship did not arrive and by Nov. 20, the town was completely dry prompting warnings that emergency services could be affected, including RCMP being limited to foot patrols.
That did not occur, but Gina Dicker, Nain’s administrator, said the town had to get creative to maintain essential community services. For example, they ended up siphoning gas from non-essential vehicles in order to keep their water department trucks running. And residents donated gas from their private vehicles to keep the community van running.
“That was really helpful because we had a lot of seniors calling about getting around to their events,” Dicker said.
According to Dennis White, a spokesperson for Woodward Oil, high winds stranded the Nanny in Come By Chance for five or six days. When the ship arrived in Labrador, it experienced further wind delays, but was finally able to get into Nain Nov. 24. It then proceeded south supplying Natuashish, Hopedale, Postville and Makkovik.
Last year, it was Hopedale that ran out of gas Nov. 4. Nain helped out by shipping 10 barrels south via the MV Astron to keep Hopedale’s emergency services supplied while the community awaited its biannual shipment.
All the north coast communities should now be set for this winter, White said.