Northlanders battle a dwindling propane supply

By KBJR News 1

January 28, 2014 Updated Jan 28, 2014 at 1:01 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.COM)

A propane shortage is having a severe effect across the Midwest at a
time when the need to heat is critical.

Like many other states in the Midwest Minnesota and Wisconsin are
experiencing a harsh propane drought causing prices to rise as high as 5 dollars a gallon according to the Little Store, a propane distributor in
Duluth.

Minnesota's governor Mark Dayton has expressed his concern.

"It's a combination of the late harvest and the severe cold weather and
some supply problems."

The issue prompted Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to declare a State of Emergency on Saturday.

Energy assistance programs are now available in every county.

"Anyone that has a problem with heating their home would want to call
their local county to one let them know that there's an issue with
getting a supply of heating or that their family doesn't have the money
to provide heating," says Dan Williams, the Director of the Northland Chapter of the Red Cross.

"It's a concern. Some of our residents in the city are on propane...So
we would love to see the federal government take a more active role," Duluth Mayor Don Ness adds.

The American Red Cross prides themselves on being prepared for
emergencies like this one.

They have set up more than one hundred emergency shelters throughout the Northland. The centers are available and ready to go at a moment's notice."

"Right now we're on stand by. So it may be a very quickly evolving thing
in the next few days whether multiple shelters might be need or whether
none might be needed. It's really a factor of what happens with the
propane supplies," Williams informs.

County officials will make the decision for go time for the Red Cross.

Governor Mark Dayton has now issued an emergency order for Minnesota.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware

gware@kbjr.com