Island’s west coast impacted by Highway 4 closure but communities remain open for business


Without the regular day-to-day traffic coming into Ucluelet from Highway 4, supplies are running thin.

At the local co-op grocery store, produce is almost completely sold out.

Rationing is in effect at Ucluelet and Tofino gas stations, limiting customers to 30 litres or sixty dollars of gas.

But Tofino councillor Kat Thomas said gas is not expected to run out.

“We don’t have any concerns about running out of fuel. We’ve been in this position before with extended closures such as the Kennedy Lake repairs. And things of that nature,” Thomas said.

And more help is arriving by the minute.

On Thursday morning, delivery trucks were able to make it to the rural communities dotted along the west coast thanks to the detour, according to Heather Riddick, Chair, Tourism Ucluelet.

“We know that our food trucks made it in this morning. And deliveries were made. So they have a few less items than we would normally have, but no one is going to go hungry — and shelves are not going to be bare,” Riddick said.

High season is just about to kick in on the coast, and with it, an influx of tourists.

That’s a concern to Suzanne May, Owner, West Coast Weddings and Events.

“I have two weddings this upcoming Saturday in Tofino. One lovely couple are from Sudbury, Ontario. The other couple are from Calgary. And both are bringing 12 guests each,” May said.

Her concern is for clients travelling to B.C., then driving for hours on the logging road detour.

“I think somebody needs to talk to the world, because the world is coming to the west coast, and they need to know what’s going on,” May said.

The message to tourists, and others, planning on driving the rugged detour to the west coast is to be safe.

“We certainly aren’t going to tell people not to come. We want people to come, safely though. And that’s always the key takeaway,” Thomas said.

So if you still plan to go, take precautions, and have plenty of supplies on hand.

READ MORE: Precarious conditions on Highway 4 detour spark multiple accidents and growing frustration

Mary Griffin

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!