Gateway resident Nikki Brown shares how her friends and family have been struggling to reach Madison River Propane to come refill their propane tanks.
“My parents who are handicapped and homebound called for a propane fill at the beginning of December, and as time went by, we didn't get any,” says Brown.
Brown says her father called for days.
“December 2nd, my dad called, and then we've been following up as we watched the propane percentages go down,” says Brown.
Brown says the propane company would assure her they were coming, but it took them longer than expected.
“This past Monday, they said they'll get it Wednesday. It didn't come Wednesday. They said come Thursday and it didn't come,” says Brown.
Brown also says she has a friend who has been out of propane for over a week.
Brown says, “My friend, she was out for eight days, out of propane and this is when it was below 40 degrees.”
Brown believes there could be a propane shortage, but Hayley Snider, energy assistance navigator with HRDC, says it's a shortage of something else.
“I'm not sure that there's a shortage. I haven't heard that. There's a shortage of staff,” says Snider.
Snider says from her experience assisting people who need propane, staffing seems to be the main issue.
“That means that people aren't at the front desk to take walk-ins, they're not there to answer phone calls from organizations like us who are trying to get people propane,” says Snider.
HRDC offers to try and speed up the propane-filling process by calling propane companies on behalf of those in need.
“What they first have to do is apply for a Low Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP. If they don't qualify because it is income based, we have other programs to assist them that's based on need instead of income-based,” says Snider.
Brown says her parents' propane tank was finally refilled on Friday and is hoping her friends' and family's supply won't run out again.
“Can we address this so it doesn't happen again,” says Brown.
MTN News reached out to Madison River Propane for comment but has not heard back. We will update this article if we get a response.