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Berkeley Cooperative customers frustrated over delayed propane refills

The Lee family has two propane tanks, one they say is empty, the other nearly empty (Source: Live 5) The Lee family has two propane tanks, one they say is empty, the other nearly empty (Source: Live 5)
Berkeley Propane in Moncks Corner (Source: Live 5) Berkeley Propane in Moncks Corner (Source: Live 5)
JOHNS ISLAND, SC (WCSC) -

Several Berkeley Cooperative customers are frustrated after they’ve made several requests to have their propane tanks refilled, with no action to follow.

Trena Nelson, vice president of Berkeley Cooperative Enterprises, said their propane tank drivers are working seven days a week in order to remedy a backlog of requests across the Tri-County.

The last two weeks have been a bit different for the Lee family who lives on Johns Island.

Cooking on the stove top has been limited as they try to conserve their propane until their two tanks get refilled.

"If we run out of gas we don't get showers, which we only got every other day [last week],” said Patricia Lee. “We don't wash dishes. We ate out of paper plates because running that dishwasher would mean running the hot water which would be running our propane."

Lee's husband, John, contacted Berkeley Cooperative on Dec. 27.

He said he wasn't able to get a response until Jan. 2 when a message was received through Facebook.

"I will forward your remarks to Trena Nelson who is in charge of propane,'” stated the message. “'I can let you know that we recently lost a number of drivers which is causing issues with deliveries."

"No, we have all of our drivers at this time," Nelson said Thursday afternoon in response to that message.

Nelson said Berkeley Cooperative is fully staffed with four drivers who have been refilling up to 40 tanks per day in neighborhoods across the Tri-County because of the huge backlog.

"It tripled as far as requests we got dating back to Dec. 15,” Nelson said. “It tripled to almost 600 and something gas deliveries that are needed."

Complaints have filed in since then.

Many people posting all over the Berkeley Cooperative Facebook page.

"People are saying that they're out,” Patricia said. “They have elderly parents living with them. They have no heat. That's a big issue."

"We are truly sorry. No one wants to be in the cold and we understand that," Nelson responded.

"'Sorry' is just not going to keep people warm,” Patricia said. “Sorry is just a crutch somebody uses when they mess up."

The Lee’s home uses propane for their hot water, stove, fireplace, and heat.

When the temperature is above 59 degrees, the electric takes over some of those measures, however they are concerned about the colder temperatures ahead.

“We have nothing left in our one tank,” John said. “There’s a little less than 40% in the other.”

"Due to the weather that has caused a huge upset in our situation as well as right now the Dixie pipeline for the southeast is at a halt,” Nelson said.

Nelson added they are working to refill the tanks based on service and percentage priority.

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