Cold weather keeping propane companies busy - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Cold weather keeping propane companies busy


How would you like to be without heat during these frigid temps?  That's exactly what one Michiana woman is afraid of  because she's running our of propane.

Kathy Westgate says she only has 2% left in her propane tank that's used to heat her home.  She called her propane company last Friday to get a refill when she was at 15% but that refill hasn't come yet.

"This is crazy when you're sitting here and your nose is cold and your fingers are cold," said Westgate.  To conserve propane she has turned down her heat so low that it's uncomfortably cold in her home.  "I do sleep with a long sleeve shirt and pants and socks and the whole nine yards and I'm sill cold, and I got three blankets on my bed."

Westgate said she called her propane company again to let them know how low she is.  This is what she said they told her, "Well we have a lot of people ahead of you and there's really nothing we can do cause of the cold."

Because of this week's weather Westgate may not be alone.  The company she uses, GoGas, never returned our phone call.  But several other local propane companies did talk to FOX28 and told us they've been swamped.

"It's been a real challenging week for our propane operations," said Patty Nowlin with Midwest Energy Cooperative.

She said they've received tons of calls about propane refills, and it's no surprise because the colder it is the more propane you need.  "Obviously when we're keeping our homes heated when it's 20 below that's very different from what people typically experience this time of year."

Nowlin said at MIdwest Energy they're doing everything they can to get their customers propane within three or four days, but it's been tough.  "Not only were we contending with lots of calls for delivery but then contending with the roads and streets and just being able to get to properties."

As for Westgate she continues to wait for GoGas to refill her tank.  In the meantime she's using candles and her oven to help supplement the little heat she does have.  But she's fearing the propane will be gone soon.  "If it's 3 o'clock in the morning I'm gonna have to call 9-1-1, there will be nobody else to call.  I gotta get somewhere warm, can't sit here shivering."


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