LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Hurricanes Laura and Delta plus a global pandemic have resulted in a propane shortage here in Southwest Louisiana. It’s leaving many people not knowing where to go find it.
“Everyday, you have folks that are constantly calling and [we] say we’re out of it, when are we gonna get more? It’s not just here, it’s basically everywhere you go where they sell propane,” says Stine employee Brian Cropper.
“Unfortunately, it’s not just in town. It’s nationwide; and it goes back to COVID,” says Market Basket’s Vice President of Marketing, Russell Salame.
Market Basket executives say since the pandemic, there has been an increase in demand for propane globally. That, coupled with the influx of contractors and displaced residents in Southwest Louisiana is creating even more problems.
There’s no issues with propane. There’s plenty of propane, plenty of the gas. It’s a shortage of the containers because of everybody holding on to more than one container,” says Salame.
Sharon Howard is a concerned resident whose RV is now her home. Howard says she’s been worried about the propane shortage for months now.
“That’s what I live off of, that’s what I cook with, that’s what heats, that’s what does everything; so if it goes, then I’m in trouble,” says Howard. “I won’t have any way of cooking if my propane goes out and a lot of people won’t have any way of heating if the propane goes away”
Store executives say the best way to make sure your neighbor has enough fuel to power through the winter is to conserve.
“It kind of goes back in our business with the toilet paper shortage,” says Salame. “It started in the spring with COVID. People were in a panic and everybody didn’t want to be without. Same with the containers, if they only need one, just hold on to one, instead of having 2 or 3 at your house.”