After last year’s brutal winter and propane shortage, many Minnesota families are filling their tanks now.
Minnesota’s building contractors should be busy this time of year finishing up projects before winter sets in. But for many of them, it’s not a lack of work, but a shortage of concrete that’s slowing them down. Disruptions in the main ingredient – cement – means the vital building material is being allocated across the state.
Less than a year after the state struggled through a severe propane shortage, another vital commodity is in short supply.
With the cooler weather comes the urge to light up the fireplace. That could be difficult for some parts of the state, and maybe in the Twin Cities before long. That means the time to buy firewood may be right now, while supplies last.
The winter of 2013 was the coldest in 50 years. And before it was over, businesses and homeowners faced a fuel crisis like never before. That’s why the Gov. Mark Dayton called a “Propane Summit” with industry reps, railroads and farmers on Tuesday.
A salt shortage across the upper Midwest has the operations director of Washington County Public Works hoping our frigid weather is over. During a regular winter, Doug Johnson’s department budgets for 10,000 tons of salt, with an additional 2,000 tons on reserve. He’s now down to 1,400 tons, but he’s optimistic it will last.
A boom in using trains to ship oil to Minnesota could cause a shortage at the breakfast table. The Wall Street Journal reports that Canada is months behind in grain shipments, as railroads have been shipping more oil instead.
For some people, it could be the most important phone call they will ever make but in a WCCO investigation, some 911 operators and dispatchers in Minneapolis said they’re in the middle of an emergency of their own.
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.”
This winter could be particularly difficult for Minnesota horse owners after drought and disease have led to a shortage of hay. That makes it extra expensive for owners, and animal rescue groups are saddling up for a tough road ahead. It’s all due to alfalfa crops not faring well in the last year.
Primary care physicians are more readily available in Minnesota than most of the country, but experts say the state faces a looming shortage and only partly because of the federal health care overhaul that will extend coverage to around 300,000 uninsured residents.
A shortage down on the farm could lead to a price spike for a popular breakfast-time staple. This summer’s record drought has hurt many crops like corn. And pigs eat corn, making them more expensive to raise.
A potential shortage of medication intended for children with Leukemia has apparently been averted.
A severe shortage of drugs for chemotherapy, infections and other serious ailments is endangering patients and forcing hospitals to buy life-saving medications from secondary suppliers at huge markups because they can’t get them any other way.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is putting the spotlight on the growing shortage of medications, especially those used for treating cancer.