Propane shortage leads to higher prices in East Texas

Propane shortage leads to higher prices in East Texas

TYLER/LINDALE (KYTX) - Propane shortages in the north and Midwest part of the country have caused Texas Gov. Rick Perry to ease restrictions on hours for delivery drivers from Texas. This allows hem to help cover the demand across the country.

However, that still hasn't been enough to keep prices from spiking across the country and here in East Texas.

The good news is there's no shortage of propane in East Texas. However, the price hike is pretty significant. Normally, you'd pay $2.80 a gallon for propane and now, you'll pay around $3.20

"It's been freezing! We're not used to this here in Texas!" 


Mineola company owner Melany Norris would know. She spends 8 - 10 hours a day remodeling homes that have no heat inside. To keep warm, she uses propane heaters. 

"Usually two a week," she says.

With more than 30 extra days of freezing temps this year, Norris isn't the only one waiting in line to stock up on propane.

"Just try to stay warm," says Dennis Massengale who needs propane to heat his trailer every day.

He usually only fills up once a week to fill up, but these are extreme circumstances.

"I've been coming twice a week, trying to keep the tanks full!" he says.

Keeping them full is now starting to get pricier.

The price hike has to do with delivery time. Trucks that might normally bring propane to East Texas are traveling north where the emergency is. 

Tyler Gas and Supply Branch Manager Blaine Jacobs says it usually only takes a day for his deliveries to come in. Now, it takes almost five.
"It's been crazy. We've gone from probably around 40 calls to 100 - 150 calls a day," Jacobs says.

Services are booked up, so if you've called to have propane delivered to you, you'll probably wait days longer than usual.

"That's why I came over here to top off my tanks," Massengale says.

Fridays are even busier than usual because most propane shops are closed on the weekends. 
Employees expect the craze to last two more weeks until the cold weather dies off for good.

Rick Perry's emergency declaration for propane truck delivery will stay in place for 14 days. Texas produces two-thirds of nation's propane supply and houses the world's largest propane storage facility.


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