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Minnesota prepares to open shelters for propane users

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The state of Minnesota is prepared to open warming shelters in the event that nationwide propane supply problems continue and cold weather persists in the state.

 The state Executive Council, chaired by Governor Mark Dayton, met Friday and extended the governor's emergency declaration related to the propane shortage. Prices on the fuel have skyrocketed in recent weeks, causing growing concern for many rural Minnesotans who rely on it to that their homes, farms and businesses.

The emergency order allows the state's Emergency Operations Center to open shelters in the event Minnesotans run out of fuel. Director Kris Eide says the agency has identified shelter sites in a number of communities.

State Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman says the propane situation is likely to remain tenuous for the next few weeks.

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