Propane shortage putting a strain on W. Kentucky


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photographer - Mason Watkins

CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky - A propane shortage affecting 18 states in the U.S. is putting a strain on people who rely in the fuel in Western Kentucky, too.

Rhonda Timmons checked her 500 gallon tank Monday and found out she only had 15% left, but when she called her provider Tuesday she was told it would be two to three weeks before she could have her tank filled.

Eric Gibson, General Council for United Propane Gas, said his company is having to tell their customers the same thing and it's not just a delay on when they can get more propane.

"What we’re having to do is we're having to put restrictions on our customers in terms of what the amounts were able to deliver to them," he said.

His goal is to not have to tell anyone they can't get any propane, but even with restrictions he's hoping homeowners do their part.

"Conserve what you do have," he said. That's really the best thing at this point that we can recommend."

Timmons said she an her family will be cutting way back.

"I don't know that 15% is going to last us two to three weeks. I don't know, we'll plug in electric heaters if we run out of propane I guess before they bring it to us."

Gibson said no one circumstance is causing the shortage. One factor is an unprecedented demand from farmers last fall to dry their harvested grain.

Another factor is the bitterly cold weather that blanketed the US several times, and finally, Gipson said a lot of the propane supply is getting shipped overseas to Europe and Asia.

Timmons said she doesn't fully understand why there's a shortage he just knows if it continues to happen, they'll have to find another way to heat their house.