Propane in Short Supply After Cold Weather - WBAY

Propane in Short Supply After Cold Weather

Wisconsin -

The frigid weather is putting an even greater demand on propane suppliers than usual this winter. There has been such a high demand that several viewers have contacted us concerned about the supply running out.  

"Propane always does get tight almost every cold year to a certain extent, but this year with the extra cold temperatures it's worse than it's been in the past," said Steve Zutz President and CEO of Country Vision Cooperative in Reedsville, WI.

Propane industry officials say this year the demand for propane in the Midwest increased significantly.

They say larger volumes of propane were needed to dry crops after a late, cold, harvest. Plus, wind chills dipping below negative 40 degrees across the state have made people want their propane tanks filled to the top, to stay warm.

Distributors say the shortage of propane is not on the verge of crisis, but supply truck drivers now must travel farther to get enough propane to continue to meet the increase in demand.

"Dealers are able to deliver some supply and like I said working 7 days a week 24 hours a day. They're doing their best to keep their customers supplied," said Brandon Scholz of the Wisconsin Propane Gas Association.

"We ask our drivers to if you've got a shop that somebody really's not using they've got a thousand gallon tank, don't go put 800 gallons in that tank. Make sure that our homes, our farms, that are critical and can't freeze that they have the propane," said Zutz.

With warmer weather on the way propane distributors hope it will ease the demand for propane here in northeast Wisconsin, but industry leaders say there needs to be more of a conversation on how to handle shortages in the future.

"As long as the weather straightens itself out like it's supposed to this weekend get into the 30s, I think some of this anxiety from the customer of "I need to get ahead and buy some" will slow down and help the whole system catch up a little bit," said Zutz.

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