Long line-ups formed at fire halls across Vancouver Wednesday morning as residents clambered to fill their buckets with free salt.
On Tuesday, the City of Vancouver said residents could collect two buckets of free salt at 10 fire halls on Wednesday. The giveaway was supposed to last from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
However, by 10 a.m. some halls already run out of salt and some had run out before sunrise.
Fire Hall 14, located at 2804 Venables St., put up a sign on its door at 6 a.m. saying ‘salt is all gone. Next delivery time unknown’. The fire department had to bring in more salt so people could come down and fill their buckets.
The city now says more salt will be delivered Wednesday afternoon but residents will only be allowed one bucket each.
Not everyone seems to be heeding that suggestion however.
Some are even advertising the salt for sale on Craigslist.
Vancouver Fire Rescue is also fielding hundreds of calls from residents asking about when salt will be available. They are asking the public not to call the fire halls to ask when salt will be delivered. It is a city initiative and if people have questions they should call 311.
Some residents also tried to take advantage of the salt delivery on Tuesday night to beat the crowds on Wednesday morning.
“Staff at number 12 hall last night had to physically bar someone from bringing their pickup truck in and filling garbage cans full of salt in the back,” said Capt. Jonathan Gormick with Vancouver Fire Rescue Service.
Vancouver police also needed to be called out to two fire halls when crowds got too big and tempers flared.
WATCH: There’s nothing like the word “free” to draw a crowd. The City of Vancouver’s offer of free salt to deal with icy roads and sidewalks created massive line-ups at fire halls around the city this morning — cleaning out the supplies at many locations.
Tensions were running high among many residents on Wednesday but right now the city is blaming the people who showed up last night to raid the salt piles.
In a statement, they said they told people supply was limited and they were counting on people to be honest and only take what they needed.
We always said that supply was limited and were counting on people to be honest and take only what they needed, with a two bucket limit – unfortunately some people did not adhere to that.
On Wednesday night, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart poked fun at Vancouverites’ seemingly bottomless appetite for salt.
Here are the nine other locations where residents can get salt on Wednesday.
– Fire Hall #3 – 2801 Quebec St.
– Fire Hall #4 – 1475 W. 10th Ave.
– Fire Hall #7 – 1090 Haro St.
– Fire Hall #12 – 2460 Balaclava St.
– Fire Hall #13 – 4013 Prince Albert St.
– Fire Hall #15 – 3003 E. 22nd Ave.
– Fire Hall #17 – 7070 Knight St.
– Fire Hall #19 – 4396 W. 12th Ave.
– Fire Hall #22 – 1005 W. 59th Ave.
Residents are asked to bring their own bucket and shovel to the fire hall and consider donating to a local charity in exchange for the free salt.
-With files from Jon Azpiri