State of emergency declared due to propane shortage, cold weather

CREATED Jan 25, 2014 - UPDATED: Jan 27, 2014

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UNION GROVE - Governor Scott Walker issued a state of emergency on the propane shortage Saturday, saying it's affecting some 250,000 people in the state who heat their homes and businesses with propane.

Thomas Blodgett uses propane to heat his home, and right now, a lot of people like him don't know how they're going to get through this brutally cold winter. But, Blodgett's one of the lucky ones. He filled up his 500 gallon tank last month.

“Absolutely, I think I paid $1.80 a gallon beginning of December. What’s it up to now? Well my buddy had his filled the other day and he paid $4.60 a gallon," said Blodgett.

So, nearly four times as expensive, but many right now cannot even find any propane.
The propane shortage is a problem all across the Midwest. Some people are getting by with alternatives.

“I have a high efficiency wood burning fire place in the living room. We go through about three chords of wood a year, but we’re going through it pretty quick now," said Blodgett.

The emergency declaration puts all state agencies, like the national guard, on standby in case their resources are needed at a moment's notice. A spokesperson for the Department of Administration tells us neighbors should check on neighbors. If you have to go to a shelter for a time because you don't have heat, be sure to take some precautions first, like turning off your water and draining your pipes.

Call toll-free 1-866-HEATWIS (432-8947) for information about where you can purchase propane in your area, or to apply for assistance towards your propane heating bill.