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January 28, 2014   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
January 28, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Icy roads shut down access to Alabama's two propane pipeline terminals Tuesday and halted local deliveries to farms, homes and businesses.

With temperatures in much of the state not expected to top freezing before Thursday afternoon, hazardous roadways will likely delay efforts to replenish dangerously low propane supplies.

Tanker trucks that haul fuel to bulk plants across the state were unable to reach pipeline access in Demopolis and Opelika Tuesday afternoon, said Alabama Propane Gas Association (APGA) Executive Director Lisa Fountain. When propane is delivered to bulk plants, smaller "bobtail" trucks fill up there then deliver to residential, farm and commercial customers. Those trucks also have been parked until road conditions improve, Fountain said.

"As soon as drivers are able, they will resume working diligently to get propane delivered," Fountain said.

Fountain has been working day and night to match customers who need propane with dealers who have fuel. Some dealers in the state are out of propane and are waiting to have their bulk plants refilled when weather improves and propane tanker trucks become available.

Alabama Farmers Federation staffers are working with state officials from the governor's staff, Emergency Management Agency, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, Alabama Poultry & Egg Association and APGA to monitor the propane crisis.

"While we are most concerned with making sure people are kept warm and safe, our farmers are also concerned about how the frigid temperatures are affecting livestock and poultry," said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. "The amount of propane available in the state is unclear, however, and extreme cold and a nationwide shortage are likely to continue impacting availability and price.”

Farmers with an emergency need for propane should contact the Alabama Propane Gas Association (APGA) at (334) 358-9590. A list of APGA members is available online.

Poultry producers concerned they don’t have enough propane to finish their current flock are urged to contact their poultry integrator. Farmers experiencing major issues related to the propane supply may also call Federation Poultry Director Guy Hall at (334) 451-2892 or ghall@alfafarmers.org

Farmers with questions about emergency poultry and livestock mortality procedures can contact the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries at (334) 240-7278.

Farmers who incur additional expense or loss due to the propane shortage are encouraged to keep receipts and accurate records.

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