Winter storms bring shipping delays

What happens in rural areas when shipping delays occur because of bad weather?

There is a certain beauty to living in a place like Nakusp.

The village is on a lake surrounded by mountains in the picturesque Arrow Lakes region. While living here is great most of the year, there are times when living in such a rural area has its drawbacks.

Winter this year has proven to be a little harsher than normal, with snow falling in large quantities over a short period of time earlier this month. Along with the first school cancellations in over a decade, the snow affected deliveries to several businesses in the area including grocery stores, gas stations, and the pharmacy.

One delay won’t mean much for some businesses. Overwaitea, for example, receives deliveries from different companies five days out of the week.

If weather delays more than one shipment the store does the best it can.

“We do hold quite a bit of inventory in the store, especially on the non-perishable side,” said store manager Rejean Perrault. “With things like bread, produce, milk, that sort of thing, we don’t carry as much because we want it fresh. It’s kind of a tough balance.”

When it comes to prescription medication sometimes brands can be swapped out if the one normally prescribed isn’t in stock.

This can come in handy when multiple delays happen in a short period of time.

“This past week we had two days where if the shipment doesn’t leave the warehouses in Vancouver or Richmond, they don’t get to the warehouses in Castlegar, which brings everything to us,” said Sheny Thompson, a pharmacy technician at People’s Pharmacy. “It’s frustrating. You get a lot of upset customers, and the possibility of people not getting their medications and having adverse situations from that.”