Insiders: Propane shortage hits Midwest

Thousands of Hoosiers use propane to heat homes

RANDOLPH COUNTY, Ind. - Indiana’s propane industry insiders said they are in the midst of a shortage and the timing couldn’t be worse.

Experts said a propane shortage has hit the Midwest and it is causing a major problem for thousands of Hoosiers trying to keep their homes warm.

Indiana Propane Gas Association Executive Director Scot Imus said the industry is in crisis

"We've had cold winters before, we've had shortages before, we've had pipeline outages before, but nothing like we've seen now," Imus said. "But really this isn't an Indiana story, this is the whole Midwest. All propane users in all the Midwest are scrambling."

Industry experts estimate half a million people in rural Indiana heat their homes with propane.

With supplies down, those people are seeing higher prices and are being warned to conserve.

The Beatty family said they came dangerously close to running out of propane, their main heating supply, and their thermostat dropped to 44 degrees.

"We have no gas ,we've had no gas for two weeks, we have kids, the kids have kind of been shipped off here, there, everywhere to keep them warm at least," Kerri Beatty said.

Their Randolph County home has been in the family for generations; they have used propane to heat their home for half a century without problems until now.

"My concern is we have elderly and children in the community that have no heat. The more people I talk to, the more people I realize have no propane," Beatty said.

The Beattys had their nearly-empty tank refilled later Wednesday evening, but they said they are still worried about their neighbors. 

"There's some people that may not have propane for another two weeks and they're not going to be as lucky," Beatty said.

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