The smell of propane caused officials to evacuate a University of Minnesota building where a student was injured in a science lab explosion last week. University spokeswoman Julie Christensen says someone in Smith Hall smelled propane Wednesday morning, pulled the fire alarm and called 911.
Minnesota corn is three months away from harvest, but the Minnesota Corn Growers Association is encouraging farmers to plan ahead for their propane needs. A propane shortage last winter hit Minnesota farmers and rural homeowners hard. The association has been meeting with industry and government officials to try to prevent a repeat this winter.
A man is in the hospital after a 100-pound propane tank exploded inside his minivan early Sunday afternoon, according to the St. Paul Fire Department. Deputy Chief Pat Smith says a Dodge Caravan was parked outside of Walmart, located at 1450 University Ave., when the tank blew up and injured the driver inside.
Donations from an American Indian tribe in Minnesota totaling nearly $1.4 million have helped Great Plains tribes weather this winter’s propane crisis. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community provided grants to the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota and South Dakota; the Yankton, Rosebud and Cheyenne River Sioux in South Dakota; and the Santee Sioux in Nebraska.
Dozens of firefighters from six agencies battled a blaze at a manufacturer in Crow Wing County. Fire officials say an early concern about the fire at Cross-Tech Manufacturing were propane tanks and other chemicals used in production of hydraulic rotary brush cutters. Firefighters from Crosslake, Fifty Lakes, Mission, Ideal and Pequot Lakes fought the fire
A sudden vote Thursday left a bill containing $20 million in emergency heating assistance one step from Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, who could have it on his desk by day’s end. The Senate voted 65-0 to send a revised measure back to the House.
Sheriff’s officials say 13 people were overcome by carbon monoxide when a charcoal grill was used inside a home in Trempealeau County. Dispatchers received a call about an unknown medical condition at a home in the Town of Arcadia late Sunday afternoon.
The leader of the Standing Rock Sioux says a propane crisis on the Dakotas reservation is easing due to warmer weather and a drop in the price of the fuel. Chairman Dave Archambault says the tribe has ensured that everyone in need of propane has received some.
Wabasha County authorities say a propane truck that caught fire after colliding with a train might still burn for another day or two. The truck was coming down a hill in Kellogg on Friday afternoon. Kellogg Fire Chief Jeff Arens says the driver saw a train approaching below.
Minnesota’s agriculture commissioner and propane industry officials are encouraging state farmers with a surplus of the fuel to sell it back to suppliers. Commissioner Dave Frederickson says farmers could help minimize the impact of the critical shortage of propane by selling their excess supplies.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and six other governors are writing to President Obama asking for help in addressing the propone shortage and price increases. They are asking for the administration to help increase propane supplies through “every means of transport.”
The emergency management director said Friday that Minnesota is prepared to open warming shelters if propane supply problems continue in large portions of the country and cold weather persists in the state.
Minnesota officials have set up a public hotline to help residents deal with propane issues during this recent shortage. The State Emergency Operations Center says the hotline will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The winter’s propane shortage isn’t just affecting homeowners. Animals are being impacted, too. Minnesota is the No. 1 turkey producer in the nation. And every winter, turkey farmers go through thousands of gallons of propane to heat barns and keep livestock warm.
Supply problems in several states where propane is a crucial heating source have prompted governors and other officials to take action against vendors, investigate claims of price gouging and increase aid to low-income customers.