Flooding in southern BC has shut down vital transportation links adversely affecting Greater Trail businesses.

Flooding in southern BC has shut down vital transportation links adversely affecting Greater Trail businesses.

Supply chain disruptions affect Trail businesses

Priority is getting Highway 3 back up and in operation, but likely take a few days

Greater Trail businesses are getting hit hard by the recent supply chain disruptions.

Due to catastrophic flooding and landslides in southwestern B.C. on Nov. 15, the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 3 have been inaccessible, shutting down all traffic and deliveries from the coast.

Ferraro Foods in Trail ran out of some supplies this week and other perishable items are getting low.

“We have have lots of grocery inventory and lots of meat, but the milk, eggs, and the produce situation is not good,” said James Ferraro.

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming said Hwy 3 “looks to be the quickest route to reopen,” but that likely won’t happen for a few days.

“We will have updates to the public on those efforts as we have crews deployed and work is undertaken,” said Fleming in a release.

Ferraro’s is trying to access fresh produce and meat products from Alberta, but there remains some uncertainty, as most distributors are Vancouver based.

“You can’t get anything across the U.S. border and pulling chicken out of Alberta is not an option right now,” said Ferraro. “We’re lucky, because we have a lot of inventory here, but most stores don’t.”

Just as businesses strive to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, another catastrophic event hit the province and its municipalities.

Along with Hwy 3, both major routes, the Coquihalla and Hwy 1 through the Fraser Canyon, were devastated by landslides and flooding which collapsed bridges, washed out roads, and cut off communities.

The Colander Restaurant’s regular deliveries did not arrive Wednesday, but owner Mary LeRose is hopeful alternative sources arise.

“I got one delivery from Kelowna yesterday, and another delivery was cancelled today,” said LeRose. “We’re hopeful that moving forward they allow trucks to go down through the States, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that that will help us out.”

Minister Fleming stressed that the number one priority is getting the province’s transportation network back up and in operation.

“We are working with Transport Canada to reestablish supply chains for communities that currently are cut off,” said Fleming.

“This will begin with the essential movement of goods and supplies with coordination of Transport Canada.”

Greater Trail businesses are experiencing a current shortage, so residents can expect that some products won’t be available, while others have to alter their services or provide alternatives.

“I’m hopeful that when they open Hwy 3 we’ll get back some of our stuff from Vancouver,” said LeRose. “But it definitely is impacting us, there’s no doubt about it. We’re scrambling like everyone else.”

Many of the dairy, chicken and pork suppliers are located in the Lower Mainland, so there is a high likelihood that these businesses will be adversely affected for a long time to come.

“I would say make sure you have a good stock of canned food, that’s all I can recommend,” said Ferraro. “Anything perishable, if it’s not frozen, is going to be a problem.”

Consumers can also expect a rise in prices, as experts say that supply chain disruptions will contribute to food inflation. Still, most Trail businesses like The Colander are trying to adapt.

“We may have to change something that we have normally because we can’t get it, but so far we’re doing okay, in a good spot, and we’ll go from there,” said LeRose.

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