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WJBD - Local News - Weather Blamed for Propane Shortage

Weather Blamed for Propane Shortage

By The Associated Press and Rob Sussman, WJBD News

Cold winter weather along with a wet fall is putting a pinch on propane distribution in Illinois, including the South Central portion of the state. 

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers reports propane distributors have traveled as far as Mississippi and Kansas to keep up with demand. 

Farmers used more propane to dry crops last fall. And one director of an Illinois propane trade group says he's "going to be scared to death" if cold weather continues the next two weeks. 

Prices at Centralia Propane have risen this winter to 6x the rate prices usually rise during the winter. Centralia Propane's Rhonda Morris has been in the business for over 25 years, and she claims she's never seen anything quite like this. She urges customers to be patient during the shortage, which is expected to last until mid-March.

Nationwide, the blast of winter weather is sapping fuel supplies. Propane users are hit hardest by the fuel shortages, some paying up to $100 to $200 more per fill up.

The U.S. Energy Department said last week supplies of propane fell to the lowest level on record for the second week of January. 

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