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Pandemic is creating an increase in demand for propane, as some homeowners struggle to get some

A woman in Marinette County is having trouble buying propane
Published: Dec. 5, 2020 at 7:21 PM CST
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MARINETTE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - Sherrie Tank lives in a trailer in near Lakewood. Her husband of 20 plus years died in April from a brain disease.

“It’s really hard to try to take care of yourself,” Tank said in tears reflecting on his death. “I was such a caregiver with my husband, and I’m a strong woman but I don’t seem to be as strong for myself.”

Last winter, she went without heat because she couldn’t afford the $500 to fill her propane tank, which she can stretch for a year when full.

“I did truly go with no heat from through all of January and into February. I don’t have a wood burning furnace, or a fireplace, or a space heater.”

Tank said a new propane company told her on Friday she’d need to wait until the spring to fill her up due to availability.

“It wasn’t that they didn’t want to come help me, they’re just not able to,” she said.

There was a propane shortage in Wisconsin during the 2013 to 2014 Polar Vortex. In this case, energy experts stated there isn’t a shortage in commodity oil. There’s just been an increase in demand.

With the pandemic, restaurants across the country are using outdoor dining to help their businesses stay afloat and that includes using propane heated-lamps.

Tank expressed concern for this winter.

“What needs to be done is that no one goes without heat, I don’t care where you live,” Tank said crying. “I’m sorry.”

Her property manager may let her borrow space heaters once it gets colder, yet she worries it may not be enough.

Tank said she also plans to cover her doors with blankets and wear warm clothes in her home.

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