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Propane In Short Supply

Last updated on Wednesday, January 22, 2014

(UNDATED) - Cities across the northeast and Midwest are preparing for more snow. What they may not be prepared for is staying warm.

"Living in the city, it's something you take for granted you know. You flip on the switch the heat comes on and you turn on the stove and the gas runs. Out here, if I don't have that tank full, we're not gonna be having a warm house to come home to or be able to cook our meals," said Jeff Doll, Minnesota resident.

He's talking about propane - which heats 7 million homes in the region. Thanks to the early frost this year, it's in short supply.

"We don't know when we're getting it. We don't know if we're getting it, and all the propane companies are in the same boat," said Scott Zura, The Gas House.

In Wisconsin, propane companies are only filling customers' tanks halfway, and limiting sales. High demand and low supply is driving up prices - as much as 46 percent higher than last winter.

Some families have seen their bills double:

"It's well over two dollars a gallon and it just keeps rising," said Ryan Gunderson, vice president, Superior Fuel Co.

"You just do what you have to get it done and get it paid for," said Russell Brownell, Missouri resident.

Fifteen states are easing limits on drivers, hoping to get more propane into homes and businesses before the cold sets in.

In Washington, DC, the transportation department has declared a home heating fuel emergency. That relaxes regulations in 24 states.

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