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      Propane shortage causes prices to skyrocket

      A midwest propane shortage is causing prices here in northern Michigan to skyrocket.

      A midwest propane shortage is causing prices here in northern Michigan to skyrocket.

      I n some areas , prices are as high as five dollars a gallon and it's not clear if the prices will go back down anytime soon.

      W hen John Ingersoll called the gas company to get his propane tank filled, he was stunned to hear the price tag.

      " They quoted me $5.85 per gallon and that rate wasn't even locked in," Ingersoll said. "They said it could be higher when actually delivery truck got here."

      W ith the extreme temperatures , homeowners like Ingersoll have been using up their propane quicker than usual, which has driven up the demand around the midwest.

      " If you're just now buying propane or you ran out and you didn't buy ahead, well you have to take and get what you can get, just because supplies are very limited right now," Joe Ross, Michigan Propane Gas Association Spokesperson said.

      T he supplies are limited due to a number of factors.

      P ropane tankers are having issues with deliveries due to the snowy roads , a major midwest pipeline has been damaged, and number of environmental factors have also taken a toll.

      " We had an unusually wet season and our farmer s throughout the Midwest use a lot of propane to dry their crops ," Ross said.

      A nd while the supply is thin , industry experts hope these problems will be addressed in the coming weeks.

      B ut until then , some propane users like John Ingersoll have decided to make an energy switch rather than foot a lofty price tag.

      "A b uddy of mine owns the heating company and he's going to put in the hot water heater that's electric in the basement and then I won't have to rely on propane at all ," Ingersoll said.

      I ndustry experts say it is unclear how long these high prices will last.