Demand for Heating Aid Surges in R.I.

By Staff | January 8, 2014 | 7:28 AM EST

A delivery of heating oil in Barre, Vt.  (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

( - "I hope you're keeping warm," President Obama said at the beginning of his news conference on Tuesday. But they're not keeping warm in New England, apparently.

"Many Rhode Islanders have already drained their oil tanks and found that they simply lack the necessary resources to keep their families warm over the course of a frigid New England winter," the Providence Journal reported on Wednesday.

The report said demand for heating aid is surging in the midst of the cold snap, and record levels of heating aid are anticipated this year.

One of the programs mentioned in the article gives families as much as $500 in heating assistance.

Notably, the unemployed woman from Connecticut who introduced President Obama on Tuesday talked about having to set her thermostat at a chilly 58 degrees. She urged Congress to pass emergency unemployment benefits to help her pay her bills while she's looking for a job.