Kasich: State of emergency for Ohio - National Guard on alert - Federal government declaration to include 10 Midwestern states

Submitted by Quest-News-Serv... on Wed, 01/22/2014 - 01:58.

CINCINNATI —Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared a statewide energy emergency for all 88 counties.  The federal government has now expanded that declaration to include 10 Midwestern states.

The declaration was made in order to expedite the shipment of propane and heating oil to rural parts of the state.

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Officials said they have determined that propane inventories across the state are low, causing product allocations and restrictions for some customers.

Kasich's declaration temporarily eases regulations on shipping companies and delivery drivers. They will be allowed to drive more hours and more consecutive days than they normally would, as long as they can still do so safely, the declaration read.

Those longer hours are meant to help companies make the necessary deliveries of propane and heating oil to customers, as they are needed.

Read state of emergency proclamation

Kasich said the shortage was caused by prolonged bitterly cold weather that forced consumers to use more energy than they otherwise would. Higher demand caused an energy shortage.

More intense cold weather is also expected later this week. Kasich also said snowfall around the state had delayed scheduled deliveries in the past week.

No petroleum products are covered under this proclamation.

It is important for the state of Ohio to take the appropriate measures in response to this energy emergency to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Ohio citizens and visitors, Kasich said.

The Ohio National Guard has been placed on standby and will be available to help in any county, as requested, Kasich said. They were authorized to transport shipments of propane and heating oil, if needed.

Kasich also encouraged Ohioans to check on their neighbors, especially older adults and families with young children.

Anyone who needed help was urged to call their county emergency management agency.

The Ohio Propane Gas Association said Kasich's declaration will help bring needed supplies to consumers.

This declaration will remain in effect until the emergency is over, but by law the emergency authorization is only valid for 30 days.

Michigan recently issued a similar state of emergency.

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