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Propane demand rises as power crews still at work on storm damage

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:51 PM EST
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Propane sales are on the rise as outages continue in the commonwealth.

Tiger Fuel said Monday, Jan. 10, that it is delivering propane as quickly as it can, as power companies work to turn the lights back on.

“We have about 3,800 power outages, and that’s still across a good portion of our system,” Casey Hollins with Rappahannock Electric Cooperative said. “We haven’t released crews, we still have the mutual aid and the mutual-aid support from contractors and co-ops that are out working in the field with all of our REC employees.”

REC says it has around 1,200 people from 13 states working to fix what last week’s snow storm broke. It has the most outages remaining across Virginia, with roughly 4% of its customers still without electricity.

“I don’t have a specific day that we can give people, but I can say that some of these outages are going to continue into the coming days,” Hollins said.

Your power could also come on, but then be shut off again.

“There’s a few different reasons why it could happen, because we have had to take a device off in order to make a repair for safety purposes. But it also could happen because everybody’s power is coming back on at one time and that demand is putting a strain on the system with everybody coming back on,” Hollins said.

For those without power, relying on generators has kept the lights and heat on.

Tiger Fuel says propane sales have skyrocketed.

“The last week has been crazy. We’ve worked every day since the snowstorm hit, and so the calls have been about three or four times the magnitude that we normally have. So we’re getting hundreds of calls an hour versus about 50 or 60 calls normally,” Chief Operating Officer Taylor Sutton said.

Although demand is high, the company says it is keeping up with the orders.

“We have the most drivers and trucks for anybody in this area, so we have been keeping up, but it’s required a lot of long hours,” Sutton said.

Tiger Fuel asks if those who have power to postpone their propane order so people without energy can fuel their generators.

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