Gov. Paul LePage has signed a limited Emergency Proclamation that will allow Maine fuel delivery drivers to work additional hours during the unusually cold weather expected over the next few days.

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

“This declaration will allow heating fuel to be delivered to Maine families when they need it most during this frigid weather,” the Governor said. “Keeping homes warm is critical to protect the public health and safety of Mainers.”

Propane has been in short supply, and the situation is expected to worsen as demand increases due to cold weather. The supply from Canada has been impacted because the Northern Rail Route is closed due to the tragic accident at Lac Megantic, Quebec in July.

Propane inventories are 25% lower than normal in Maine, and fewer outside haulers are available to come to the state due to demand elsewhere.

Fuels used in manufacturing, business heating, fork lift and other vehicle operations are also affected.

Forecasters say colder than normal weather is expected over next 30 days. The Governor’s proclamation waives U.S. Department of Transportation rules and extends the hours of service for heating fuel transport and delivery trucks within the State of Maine for two weeks.

LePage said, "We will review supply and weather conditions to decide whether an extension is needed at that time.”

The Maine Emergency Management Agency has also posted safety tips for dealing with severe cold.