Heating bill help

Winter came earlier than expected this year.

With dropping temperatures, many families are racing to their nearest energy assistance office to get some help.

“We are seeing several people with this small snow we received the last couple of days has kind of increased our numbers,” said Tony Dowdy with West Kentucky Allied Services.

WKAS is busy signing people up for energy assistance.

Many are needing help sooner than usual.

“I’ve never known it to be this cold in November,” said Brenda Taylor.

Taylor says times are tough.

“I lost my husband five years ago so it’s sort of hard for us to pay for stuff,” said Taylor.

Across the river in Illinois, it is the same story in the Low Income Energy Assistance Program offices.

When winter comes early it throws the system off a little bit.

In fact, the LIHEAP office in West Frankfort was so busy, they would not let one Local 6 multimedia journalists inside the building.

Over the phone, the director of Crossroads outreach agency told Local 6 that it is all hands on deck as applications are flooding offices across our region.

Crossroads has already exhausted more than $1.2 million in funding and has given out about 3,000 applications.

Back in Kentucky, Taylor says she cannot imagine a winter without the help of LIHEAP.

“I thank God every day for any kind of help I can get, you know,” said Taylor.

Through March 31st, the company is matching donations to its heating assistance program.

There is still nearly $2 million in available funding from the West Frankfort office.

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