Dealing with Low Salt Supplies as Winter Continues

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Many road departments are still dealing with a shortage of salt, just ahead of more snow.

Road crews said they've ordered more, but the salt delivery is way behind. Additionally, it could take weeks before they get much more.

Department of Highway crews in Huntington said they're down to about one-third of what they usually have in salt.

They said if this season continues like it has, they'll have to borrow salt from others to treat the roads.

Road crews at the Department of Highways garage in Huntington said there's a real need for salt.

"We normally have about 1,000 tons. Right now, we have about 300, 350 ton," Equipment Operator Bob Burd said.

The garage has six trucks which spread salt and liquid calcium on the interstate.

"Three hundred pounds of salt per mile per lane," Burd said.

With 60 miles to cover, that's a lot of salt. So, crews at the Huntington garage have already borrowed more than 90 tons of salt from Wayne County to stay in stock.

"We don't want to run out of salt," Burd said.

In Putnam County, we talked to road crews just weeks ago.

The DOH shed in Hurricane holds about 1,100 tons of salt.

Crews there are working with about 400 tons and don't expect much more.

Still, they said they aren't concerned yet.

"Providing any major heavy snowfalls, small storms, we've got plenty," Putnam County Highway Director Ed Smithers said.

Highway officials said it takes about 50 tons to fill all seven trucks at the garage, so they've gotten creative, mixing in cinders and liquid calcium.

"We've changed our mix up a little bit, and it seems to be working fine," Smithers said.

In the city of Charleston, officials said they usually keep between 5,000 and 6,000 tons of salt on hand.

But right now, that's not the case.

"Twenty-five hundred ton on the ground and that should get us through what little events we see coming," Public Works Director Gary Taylor said.

Crews said they're still waiting on a 4,000 ton salt order, which could be weeks away.

But officials at each department said they'll have enough salt to keep your drive safe.

Charleston city officials said they usually go through between 500 and 700 tons of salt for snowstorms where an inch is expected.

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