Emergency preparedness

Paul Hutchings
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Council considering adding diesel storage tank after shortage during stormy weather

DEER LAKE — Council is looking into placing a diesel storage tank at the town depot for emergency situations like the one that occurred two weekends ago.

During a severe power outage the town came close to running out of diesel, meaning maintenance and emergency services vehicles would not have been able to be pressed into service.

“We heard the gas stations on the highway ran out and then we heard that (one of them) still had some diesel, so we went and filled up our vehicles,” said superintendent Dave Thomas. “And then shortly after that, that station ran out as well, so we came close that weekend.”

He said vehicles impacted in the case of a diesel shortage would be snowplows and other town vehicles used in storms, as well as fire department vehicles. Having a diesel tank on site at the public works depot on Gatehouse Road, he said, would help ease the burden on the gas stations and make staff better prepared to handle emergencies.

He said nothing is set in stone as of yet.

“We still have to look to make sure our insurance will handle it,” said Thomas. “But if we can do it, it’s something that would be a big help.”

Deer Lake fire Chief John Dinney welcomed the news of a possible diesel storage, and went one further, stating diesel generators should be strategically placed in the event of an emergency as well. Diesel, he said, as opposed to gasoline generators, which do not run as long on a tank of fuel.

“It’s a great idea, but diesel generators should also be placed at the town depot, the fire department, the warming centres, all those places,” he said. “I don’t know if that would happen, but I’d like to see it.”

Thomas said the town already has a diesel generator. He added that until the decision is made, a local company has offered to share its diesel in another emergency situation if necessary.

Geographic location: DEER LAKE, Gatehouse Road

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