Heating oil deliveries are delayed across Maine, and oil companies say it will take time to get through a backlog of orders.
Gov. Paul LePage extended an emergency declaration Tuesday which allows drivers delivery heating fuel to work longer hours.
"Our oil delivery drivers need the flexibility to be on the roads so Mainers can heat their homes over the next several days," said LePage.
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Oil companies big and small are having problems meeting demand. A prolonged stretch of bitterly cold weather caused tanks to run empty faster than usual. Homeowners have been calling companies asking for emergency deliveries.
"This is the worst we’ve ever had it," said Sarah Makinen, manager of the F.L. Butler Company in Farmington, Maine. "It will be a long time before [oil companies] catch up."
Joe Grenier, a homeowner in Lisbon, has been waiting more than a week for a delivery. He is making do with a pellet stove in his basement and space heaters in the bedrooms, but says it’s been a frustrating experience.
"I’ve never had to wait this long," he said.
Grenier said his usual heating oil delivery service didn’t pick up the phone. He tried contacting three other companies before he was able to schedule a delivery – and even then, had to wait several days.