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Marinette County officials dealing with propane shortage


MARINETTE, WI (WTAQ) - Marinette County Emergency Management officials are swinging into action thanks to the propane shortage hitting the Midwestern U.S.

“I didn’t expect what we’re seeing,” said Eric Burmeister, Emergency Management Director for Marinette County. “I didn’t expect the magnitude of it.”

Burmeister says several dozen families have called his emergency management office in Marinette in the past two days because their propane levels have dipped dangerously low.

“We’ve been working with the Red Cross with a couple of sites in the county that have expressed interest in opening a shelter should we need that. I will be going to the town of Silver Cliff tomorrow,” he said.

Marinette County emergency management says the red cross is poised to open shelters, including one in the Village of Crivitz. Burmeister says he's meeting with officials in the Town of Silver Cliff Saturday to discuss shelter options there.

Officials are also talking about the current supply situation in the county.

According to Burmeister, "A survey of propane dealers in Marinette County revealed that most are not taking new customers, and are also restricting amounts to existing customers. It may also take longer for you to get your delivery because of the high demand. Many of the restrictions are because they themselves are getting limited supplies. So contact your propane vendor when your tank reaches 30% full to help ensure you don’t run out before they can deliver."

Burmeister says there are things you can do to conserve and extend your fuel supply.

  • Lower your thermostat and wear more layers of clothing
  • Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations.  Check where cables (TV, phone) and pipes enter the house.
  • Ensure adequate insulation in walls, attics and crawl spaces
  • If you use an alternative heat source (space heater, wood stove, etc.), ensure proper ventilation and care are used.