High propane demand puts strain on Midlands citizens prepping for snow

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - At Southern Flame Propane, you'll find the crowd before the storm.

"It might happen and it might not," said customer Jeff Daniels. "Better to be prepared just in case."

Daniels would prefer being safe as opposed to sorry, while Mike Holladay wouldn't mind some minor issues.

"Well I hope we do get a lot of cold air," said Holladay. "I do heat and air work, so hopefully I'll get a few calls out of it!"

Greg Rodes has received more than a few calls. On Saturday, he and his wife moved around 700 gallons of propane, leaving little time for lunch. He's not complaining, not yet anyway.

But a national shortage of the fuel is putting pressure on supplies.

"People in other states are having trouble getting it, so they're having to come down here to get it," said Rodes.

The problem is especially bad in the Midwest where weeks of cold weather have homeowners running on empty. Rodes is worried those problems could raise prices here. He says he hasn't raised his in 3 years.

"We'll sit on our prices as long as we possibly can," said Rodes. "We'll probably have to bump it up, but we'll do as little as we have to."

In the meantime, the propane and the customers, continue to flow.

"So many people are coming for emergency heat, if necessary," said Rodes. "We hope they don't need it, but if they do they'll have it."

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