HENRY COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - The last blast of Arctic air caused a propane shortage in Kentucky and Indiana. Thousands of homes and businesses in rural areas rely on propane to fuel furnaces.
Propane supplies were already low due to the recent cold temperatures. To allow for expedited delivery of propane, the Kentucky Energy & Environment Cabinet sought an exemption from the federal Hours of Service restrictions which limit the transportation of fuel cargo.
The emergency declaration means shippers with valid commercial licenses can drive more hours and more consecutive days in order to deliver propane. Officials in 25 states, including Indiana and Ohio, from have taken similar steps.
Suppliers like Bennett's Gas in Henry County aren't accepting additional customers who are scrambling to find the fuel.
"It's pretty high demand," said Jim Porter, the controller at Bennett's Gas. "There's a shortage of getting the product to the terminals. That's where the shortage is. This weather is different for us. We're just not used to this kind of heavy duty cold for this long, so that's part of the problem."
As a result, prices spiked to more than 17% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Residential propane prices averaged $2.86 per gallon nationwide last week.