Scrambling To Deliver Propane In Oklahoma
By Craig Day, The News On 6
TULSA COUNTY, OK -- It's brutally cold and should remain that way for the next few days and that has caused increased demand for utilities and propane delivery.
Homeowners across Green Country are trying to stay inside and out of the wind and bitter cold and whether it's with natural gas, electric or propane, to stay warm.
To many people, Darrell Keeling with Lake Area Propane is like the cavalry coming to the rescue but, instead of being on a big white horse, he's in a big white propane truck.
"They're kind of glad to see me when I come driving in, because they were wondering if I would make it or not," Keeling said.
Since the cold spell started on Christmas Eve, Keeling's made 25 to 30 propane deliveries every day.
"We've been just staying hooked up all of the time," Darrell Keeling said.
In 30 years in this line of work, he's never seen demand so high over such a short time span.
Business is up at least 35%.
"It's just been so cold, and everything. Everybody is using a lot of fuel to stay warm," Keeling said.
Others are cranking up their natural gas to stay warm. Oklahoma Natural Gas predicts its customers will use near-record amounts of natural gas in the next few days But, ONG says its system is designed to handle the increased flow.
PSO says it can also handle the higher winter demand, which is still nowhere near peak Summer usage.
Stan Whiteford, PSO, said, "For wintertime and for this time of the year, electric usage is a little higher than normal, but still nothing compared to what it is in the Summer."
The bigger concern is the strong wind and bitter cold both can cause problems for utility companies.
For Darrell Keeling, his biggest problem is just keeping up. He's getting back on the road, for another much appreciated and needed delivery.
"Try to keep everybody happy if we can," Keeling said.
PSO has had some scattered outages caused by the weather, mostly in Southwestern Oklahoma.