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Retailers Face a Wood Pellet Shortage

LACKAWANNA COUNTY — This year`s winter may have you paying extra to heat your home, but if you rely on a wood pellet stove, you may be out of luck. Many s...

LACKAWANNA COUNTY -- This year`s winter may have you paying extra to heat your home, but if you rely on a wood pellet stove, you may be out of luck.

Many stores in Northeastern Pennsylvania are sold out of the pellets.

Elizabeth Waronker of Thornhurst has been searching for wood pellets for more than a week.

"Frustration, aggravation. A lot of yelling, a lot of driving, a lot of calling around," said Waronker.

She has used a pellet stove to heat her home for six years.

But now, Waronker can’t find the wood pellets anywhere and she’s almost out, "You're looking at about an hours worth left in the stove and that's it. Then we're going back to electric, so our electric bill is going to be sky high."

The Lowe's in Dickson City has been out of the pellets for two weeks.

An employee said the shortage is due to a colder than average winter causing people to burn more pellets.

Also, the employee explained that the pellets are not easy to make.

"It's a pressed wood and they put it through a machine and they press it, so that's how you get your wood pellets. So they take a little longer to make," said Noelle Olver, an employee at Lowe's.

Lowe's is hoping for a pellet delivery soon, but there are restrictions for customers.

"You can't do a pick up or delivery, you have to take them with you. People actually get a little pushy about them, which I understand. They're freezing and they want to get warm," said Olver.

Home Depot in Dickson City is also out of wood pellets. They said the last time they got a delivery, they sold out in three hours. For those people who keep calling, they're hoping for another delivery soon.

"We've gone through the phonebook, we've Googled. Far out of our range, hours drive, close to Philly and they don't even have pellets," said Waronker.

The shortage has her rethinking how she should heat her home.

"I love my pellet stove, but if I knew we were going to have problems like this, maybe I would have thought about it earlier," said Waronker.

Retailers are hoping for pellet deliveries within the next few days, but since they sell out so quickly, stores are urging consumers to keep calling to check with your local store.