Freight problem eased as flood recedes

  • Jun. 13, 2007 9:00 a.m.

Groceries arrived on island Tuesday morning thanks to the hard work of islanders and BC Ferries alike.
Last week, island grocers scrambled to rearrange their freight through Port Hardy due to flooding on Highway 16 on either side of Terrace.
Richard Clarmont, general manager of Delmas Co-op in Masset, said it was a frustrating experience, especially when it came to getting any assurances from BC Ferries that his trucks would get on the ferry.
He faced two barriers. One involved confirming space on the Northern Adventure from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert and the other was the schedule. The ferry from Port Hardy was set to arrive an hour and a half after the ferry to Skidegate left on Monday night.
Mr. Clarmont was hoping to convince BC Ferries to wait for his goods, so the two Co-op stores on island (Skidegate and Masset) could restock their empty shelves.
He had a hard time getting a hold of the right person, “but in the end they bent over backwards,” he said.
Due to cancellations out of Port Hardy, he was able to secure space for two full trailers full of goods.
“It’s the nicest thing that has happened in a long while.”
Meanwhile, in Queen Charlotte, City Centre received a delivery of milk, produce and a few groceries, but no bread. Werner Funk, the owner of the store, says he’s still trying to track down the shipment, which was supposed to be in Terrace last week.
As for future deliveries, Mr. Clarmont says grocers are not out of the water yet.
The level in the Skeena River dropped over the weekend and Highway 16 did reopen, but there is still a lot of snow left to melt and officials say flood season does not end until the end of June.
“The rivers are rising again. We will take it one week at a time,” he said.