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State of emergency declared ahead of arctic blast in North Carolina

Governor Cooper declared a state of emergency Thursday to help keep heating fuels available during the cold snap, which could result in several nights with wind chills below zero. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

After several mild winter seasons in the Carolinas, cold air has already made its mark this year, and some of the coldest air of the season is now on the way.

Governor Cooper declared a state of emergency Thursday to help keep heating fuels available during the cold snap, which could result in several nights with wind chills below zero.

North Carolina is the third largest user of propane in the country, and according to Blossman President Stuart Weidie, it has the supply.

“It's really a matter of not the supply itself, but the trucking and logistics and getting the product where it needs to be in our local community,” Weidie said.

Part of the governor’s executive order temporarily waives the cap on the number of hours fuel service vehicles can travel.

Weidie says that’s a big help during prolonged cold when demand climbs and many trucks are moving supply.

“Right now these trucks are sitting in line,” Weidie said on Friday. “It's not like they're driving on the road. They're chewing up their hours sitting in line for six or eight hours before they can load and move it to a local bulk storage facility for the propane marketers and our company.”

It’s not just consumers and local businesses who use propane during cold snaps. Weidie says natural gas power plants sometimes have to switch to standby plants which rely on propane.

Another aspect of Governor Cooper's order puts North Carolina’s price gouging law into effect statewide. The law helps to prevent overcharging.

If you suspect price gouging, you’re asked to report it to the North Carolina Attorney General’s office online at ncdoj.gov or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.

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