The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has set up a hotline to help people struggling to heat their homes because of the severe propane shortage.
Many people in Minnesota, particularly in rural areas, buy hundreds of gallons at a time to heat their homes. But propane is hard to find, so hard that Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday declared a state of emergency because of the shortage.
In the first six hours after officials activated the hotline Thursday morning, dozens of people called, said Doug Neville, deputy director of the Department of Public Safety.
"If people are looking for the energy assistance program, if they are looking for ways to find propane, if they have questions about alternate sources of heating for their homes, there's one number to call," Neville said.
The propane hotline number is 1-800-657-3504.
Also Thursday, Obama Administration said it is releasing nearly $15.8 million in additional funding to Minnesota the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Dayton plans to meet Friday with top state officials to consider extending the state of emergency, which directs state agencies to help local government with relief efforts if the shortage worsens and people cannot obtain fuel.