After Sunday’s winter weather, snow banks are piled up even higher, and you may have not found time to clear out all of your snow yet.
Companies that fill propane tanks to heat homes are having problems because all of the tanks are covered in snow.
The Eau Claire Co-Op Oil Company said its drivers are having a hard time accessing these propane tanks in people’s yards because they are either buried in snow or there’s not a clear path for them to get to the tanks.
“We wouldn’t have even thought about a snowfall hitting records,” said Barry Hines, Energy Department Manager. “The piles keep getting deeper and deeper.”
The company says the snow piles going out to the tanks have gotten deeper making it harder for drivers who fill them to get to the LP tank or fuel oil fill pipe. They said this puts drivers at a high safety risk from slips, falls, strains and sprains.
The co-op said its drivers are out filling tanks Monday through Friday and even on weekends.
Drivers have even had to recruit other co-workers to help with the job.
“Starting this morning, we implemented that we were going to have signups sheets for staff members to sign up to double up,” said Hines.
Hines said the CEO was the first one to sign up.
Having the tank covered with snow can also cause a carbon monoxide poisoning hazard. They said the public needs to know that if their LP tank regulator is covered, it may clog the screen and ultimately cease to work.
Fuel oil customers need to know that their fuel oil tanks are vented and when covered in snow, water gets into their fuel tank. Customers on natural gas need to make sure their vents are clear of snow or their furnace will stop working.
Hines said for the next 1-2 weeks, they are encouraging homeowners to clear paths and be proactive.
“This concern is growing larger per day,” said Hines.