Propane shortage won't ground hot air balloon event

CREATED Feb 8, 2014

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HUDSON, Wis. (AP) -- A weekend event featuring hot-air balloons near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border is scheduled to go on despite a propane shortage that prompted the governors of both states to declare states of emergency.

A St. Paul Pioneer Press report says the Hudson Hot Air Affair was expected to proceed Saturday and Sunday in Hudson.

Balloon pilots have been asked to bring whatever propane they'll need. The gas is used to inflate and lift the balloons, and no additional fuel will be purchased for the event.

Organizers say most of the propane was purchased before the current shortage. The propane supply has dwindled because of the unusually cold winter that increased propane demand for heating, and because of a pipeline shutdown.

About 40 hot-air balloons were expected to go up.