Propane shortage may be short-lived


SIDNEY, Ill. (WCIA) — After Illinois was added to a list of seven states under an emergency declaration due to a shortage of propane, some people in that industry are saying customers shouldn’t panic.

Tim Grubb, who manages Progressive Propane in Philo, is one of those people.

He said he spent part of his day Friday taking call after call from worried customers who learned of the state’s emergency declaration yesterday.

The state said demand is high, but supplies are low.

While that might be true right now, Grubb said, he doesn’t expect the shortage to be long-lived.

Largely, he said, the move is a formality that allows drivers to transport the product under relaxed regulations.

“It allows drivers to run more hours,” he said. “We have a glut of gas in our nation, (but) with the high demand we’ve had for crop drying and with the cold temperatures coming early, pipelines got behind.”

That’s what GROWMARK vice president Carol Kitchen is telling consumers after yesterday’s declaration — that the pipeline infrastructure is currently “maxed out” and struggling to “fully support extreme demand periods in the Midwest.”

“We share our customers’ frustrations and are doing everything we can to minimize service delays,” Kitchen said in a press release.

Patty Smith, who uses propane on her farm and in her home in rural Macon County, said her family will plan on cutting back their propane usage just in case the shortage does last for an extended amount of time.

Grubb said he’s reassuring his customers to “relax” in the meantime.

“I would say, ‘trust your propane guy,'” he said. “We’re in the business and we always have to expect this. So when Mother Nature throws us a curve and we need more, sometimes we can’t get more. But, it’ll heal up.”

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