Bracing for Ice, East Tennessee Stocks Up on Propane

Phillip Zook, an East Tennessee man, fills up at his local propane dealer Tuesday. (image: WBIR)

A couple years back, when East Tennessee was hit by a blizzard, folks in the small town of Alcoa were forced to carry their propane tanks down the road for a fill-up. This December, with nasty weather in the forecast, Alcoans are flocking to their local RapidFlow dealer, reports Stoney Sharp at the Knoxville television station WBIR.

The news fits the national trend. Propane demand was up about 100,000 gallons last week, compared to the same period in 2009, according to federal data.

Bill Tyler, who works at the Alcoa RapidFlow, says the retailer sells 700 to 1,000 gallons of propane on a typical winter day. This year, they’ve had a few 3,000 gallon days.

“All size tanks are moving. The 20, 30, 40s. And the 100-pound tanks,” Tyler tells WBIR. And ice in the forecast always gooses business. “The parking lot will be jammed.”

Tennessee homes burn more than 2,000,000 gallons of propane a year, more than chillier Massachusetts, according to the most recent numbers.

See the video below for the full news clip, plus some propane tank action shots.

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