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Oklahoma Declares State Of Emergency Over Dwindling Propane Leve - KOAM TV 7

Oklahoma Declares State Of Emergency Over Dwindling Propane Levels

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This week Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued a State of Emergency over propane. Propane retailers estimate winter propane sales based off of previous winters, but this winter's polar vortex threw a wrench in that method so to speak. And the state is now left trying to keep up with the unexpected demand. 

 "I've dealt with propane since I was a kid, over 30 years"

Mary Eulitt is one of about 400,000 Oklahomans who heat their homes using propane.  And she says this winter she's shelling out $1,000 dollars more than normal to heat her home.
 
"Supply and demand has increased so greatly in the past four weeks," Eulitt said.
 
A problem Eulitt knows through her day job as a bookkeeper for Midwest Propane in Miami. She says the increase in usage, is why Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued an executive order this week declaring a State of Emergency to deal with dwindling supply. And according to the Manager of Midwest Propane that means cutting back on certain licensing requirements and other restrictions for those transporting propane in the state. 

"She is waiving that to give drivers longer period of time in the cab and also without mandated rest times," said Chris Cole, Manager of Miami's Midwest Propane.
 
Something being attributed to this winters subzero start. Because with colder weather comes hazardous roads, which can cause a lag in delivery. 

"I'm also seeing that our suppliers are having a harder time getting it to us, so people are having to wait longer," Eulitt said.
 
And though Cole says Southeast Oklahoma is in worse shape than in the Northeast, routes in this area are running a few days behind as well. Eulitt attributes that more to people waiting until the last minute to put in refill orders due to the spike in pricing brought with the cold weather. 

"Probably about 15 to 20 percent more than normal, and it adds up," Eulitt said.
 
Eulitt says her 500 gallon propane tank holds about 400 gallons of propane and that her and her family will have to fill it up three times to keep her home warm this winter. And even though nights are colder and more expensive for many propane using Oklahomans, Eulitt says the light at the end is more in the hands of mother nature than anything else. 

"Warmer days, and nights," Eulitt said.  

Governor Fallin says the executive order is similar to those in place in 15 other states. It will remain in effect until February 4th.    
 

To read a full copy of the Governor's Emergency Declaration, click here

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