HENDRICKS COUNTY – The polar vortex and continued cold weather has impacted propane supplies.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a regional emergency declaration for the Midwest on Sunday. It covered Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana.
According to the Indiana Propane Gas Association, the regional emergency declaration meant propane drivers would not be limited by the number of hours they are on the road. This waiver would allow propane drivers to travel farther to get propane, in order to take it back to their state for their customers. This emergency declaration could be in place until next month.
Indy Propane drivers typically travel an hour to two for supplies, but this year, it has been different that is why they are happy with the regional emergency declaration.
“Most companies are limiting their deliveries right now because we’re having to travel as far as Alabama (and) Mississippi in some cases to get gas. So it takes a lot longer to get loads,” Indy Propane President John O’Keefe said.
O’Keefe said they have made adjustments and believe they can last through the rest of winter. The company is not delivering as many gallons of gas to its customers in order to stretch every supply they get and to make sure all of their customers get something.
“This is as bad as it (has) ever been. (After) talking to some old industry veterans (and) I’ve been in the business for (more than) 30 years and this is as bad as its been,” O’Keefe said.
According to the Indiana Propane Gas Association, half a million users use propane gas to heat their home and many businesses use propane gas too. The association has been speaking with the governor since October about this issue.