|Updated: 2/03 10:28 pm
||Published: 2/03 9:46 pm
With the cost of propane skyrocketing some Oklahomans are having to make the decision: keep warm and drain the bank account, or just bundle up while inside?
Our FOX23 crew went to Osage County the night before more winter weather hit to speak with residents who rely on propane to stay warm.
FOX23 met the Barnes family. They've lived in the same home and have been using propane for more than 40 years.
“We've never had to do this before," said Sylvia Barnes
Because of the price increase they've resorted to buying an electric heater and turning their thermostat down.
They also learned if they keep bedrooms that they don't use closed off, it’s easier on their budget and keeps them warmer.
"We can't do it. In fact, we don't fill our tank now, we just fill out to 50 percent and make payments to the company now because we're on social security and on a fixed income," Barnes said.
They're not the only people the propane shortage is affecting.
The Department of Human Services announced Monday they have $4.6 million to give to propane users who need it.
"They need to help them. There are a lot of people that would probably freeze if they didn't have assistance," said Osage resident Vicky Jolley.
Jolley also uses propane regularly.
The Barnes are going to keep trying to make due so their propane tank stays somewhat full.
"We're letting it go down until we just have to order, hoping it will go down before we have to order,” Barnes said.
The state's assistance is on a first-come, first-served basis and is based on each household's income. To see if you qualify and for more information, click the link attached to this web story.