Itasca County Sheriff’s Office

440 1st Avenue NE

Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Phone (218) 326-3477

Fax (218) 326-4663

Press Release

Contact: Sheriff Vic Williams

Phone: 218-326-3477

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 30, 2014

Update 2 Propane Shortage

State Establishes Public Hotline

​ST. PAUL, Minn. – The State Emergency Operations Center has established a public hotline for Minnesotans with propane issues or questions. The Hotline will operate Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Minnesota residents with questions about the current propane situation or who are in danger of running out of heating fuel can call 651-297-1304 in the metro area or 1-800-657-3504 in greater Minnesota. 

The hotline is staffed with experts from the Minnesota Department of Commerce who can provide information about Energy Assistance Programs, connect callers with resources in their home county, and provide other information. 

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) continues to be partially activated so that the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division (HSEM) can coordinate efforts of state agencies. HSEM is in contact with state, local and voluntary partners to coordinate any potential resource requests. There have been no such requests at this time. 

Governor Dayton declared a State of Peacetime Emergency in Minnesota on Monday in response to the persistent cold weather and the increased risk that households may run out of heating fuel, a situation that would pose an immediate threat to public safety.

What consumers and Minnesota residents can do

People who use propane to heat their homes can take several steps at this time:

Use Alternative Heat Sources Safely
People often turn to alternative heat sources to stay warm when the temperature plummets. The State Fire Marshal (SFM) reminds residents to use caution when using alternative heating sources. 
Types of alternative heating sources often seen include:

Other tips when using alternative heat sources:

Low-Income Assistance
Consumers who need financial assistance to pay heating bills may find help through the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

The Department of Commerce administers LIHEAP in Minnesota, which helps low income households, especially those with seniors, children, veterans and people with disabilities with their heating bill. 
 
Money is still available for households that have not already applied.

Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced recently that LIHEAP Crisis payments would increase from $500 to $1,000 for applicants heating their homes with propane and heating oil. The crisis payments could be available as early as next week.

Qualifying families must apply for assistance at the local service provider in their area; Minnesota has 32 local service providers. A list of local service providers and information on applying for the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program is available by visiting the Energy Assistance section of the Division of Energy Resources website or by calling 1-800-657-3710.

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