Severe weather potential keeps southern states on alert

July 12, 2021 By    

While winter weather is a staple for propane industry businesses, marketers operating in the South have faced a new set of challenges.

“Every part of the country has its own potential for disaster. And in the South, it appears to be hurricanes and flooding,” says Randy Hayden, executive director of the Louisiana Propane Gas Association, one of four states – joining Alabama, Mississippi and Texas – featured in this month’s Propane Fuels America series.

“We’ve seen that the past few years, and we think that trend is going to continue,” he says.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season produced 30 named storms, of which 13 became hurricanes, including six major hurricanes. That was the most storms on record, surpassing the 28 from 2005, and the second-highest number of hurricanes on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Twelve storms hit the U.S. coastline, five of which came ashore in Louisiana.

Hayden does not recall the region ever experiencing such an active storm season. 

But even without hurricanes, the state has had to deal with its share of flooding. The latest occurred in mid-May when Gulf moisture engulfed parts of Louisiana and Texas. In fact, Lake Charles, Louisiana, recorded over 12 inches of rain in just one day, according to weather agency reports.

These severe weather events have highlighted the importance of propane-fueled generators and reliable backup power systems for homeowners and businesses, Hayden says.

“That’s going to be a growth area for a lot of our businesses,” he adds. “They’re already taking advantage of that.”

Propane generator customers must prepare “for the long haul” of any weather event, Hayden says. That means having the right-sized tank and filling it well in advance of a potential storm. 

Texas made national news in February when unusually cold temperatures gripped the state and crippled its power structure. It was another example of an extreme weather pattern impacting propane industry members, who worked around the clock to keep their customers warm and safe.

“We believe that weather trends are going to continue to be on the forefront for our industry,” Hayden says. “And, fortunately, we believe that the professionals in our industry are going to be able to meet the challenge.”

Featured image: Kolonko/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

Comments are currently closed.