Anxiety About Staying Warm This Winter Spreads

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - It could be a very cold winter for many Americans.

Homeowners already pinched by high food and gas prices are growing increasingly anxious about staying warm this winter.

As a result, phones are ringing off the hook at state assistance offices and at community organizations.

Legislators and governors from Alaska to Maine are watching the gap between surging need in their states and assistance that may or may not be coming from Washington.

Aid agencies are afraid they may have to turn more people away, or give less cash assistance to individual families.

The federal government projects natural gas and heating oil prices will be at record highs this winter.

Making things worse is an economy that has left many more people without jobs, and left state treasuries bare.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)