Local News

Wake, Cumberland County Residents Left Out In Cold In Search Of Propane, Gas

Posted January 27, 2000

— These record cold temperatures have everyone looking for a warm place. The demand for heat has left some people searching for the fuel for survival.

Hurley Young is busy at work, out in the cold so that others can stay warm.

"When it's cold like this, you're burning more fuel, and you don't realize it," said Hurley Young, a propane driver.

Sue Melvin did not realize it. She woke up to an empty propane tank and no heat.

"I love cold weather so for me to be cold, it was cold, and I woke up cold," Melvin said.

Propane is a hot commodity in the days following the big storm. Gas is being burned 40 percent more than normal. The kids are out of school. Adults are also at home and thermostats, normally turned down during the day, keep pumping on high.

Debbie Stanley's thermostat and electric heat pump gave in to winter. Extra clothing was not enough to keep her family warm.

"We were trying to utilize the heating pad at night on our side of the house," Stanley said. "Whatever is running that puts out extra heat, we have been trying to utilize that."

They called for propane every day this week so they could use their fireplace. It came on Friday, but getting to some neighborhoods still is not easy.

Some companies say they are operating at less than half their efficiency. "I appreciate it sir, thank so much." -->

In the last week, the price of propane has gone up by about 22 cents per gallon. Officials say that is because companies are having a hard time getting the fuel from their suppliers because of the weather.

The snow and ice are also preventing gas trucks from reaching customers.

Rolesville Heating Oil and Gas Company sent crews out in Wake Forest to homes they could reach, but icy roads are especially dangerous for trucks carrying such a flammable load.

President Mike Hendren says his company is trying to address the highest priority customers first, especially those who use gas or oil as their primary heat source.


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