Despite national shortage, local salt supplies stay adequate - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Despite national shortage, local salt supplies stay adequate

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Salt might as well be gold in America, as the national salt supply is desperately low. After recent winter storms, Northeastern states like New York and New Jersey, and Southern states like Arkansas and Kentucky, have ordered even more salt to deal with what winter is shelling out.

Despite the national crisis, though, some of the local supplies in Eastern Iowa are still adequate, according to city officials.

Waterloo Public Works Director Mark Rice said the city ordered 6,000 tons of salt via its annual supply contract, and has used roughly 60 percent of that this winter.

Rice said the rain/snow mix in the works for Eastern Iowa is one of the trickiest types of weather to tackle.

"We would like to pre-treat the streets so ideally the ice wouldn't bond to the surface, but if it comes as a rain, then it just washes away," Rice said.

Cedar Falls Public Works officials said their salt supply is strong as well. According to Brian Heath, Operation and Maintenance Division Manager for Cedar Falls Public Works, the city has used 2,600 tons of salt so far, and has an ample supply to last the rest of winter.

Nevertheless, he said Mother Nature has been more than generous this winter season, and not in a good way.

"In terms of temperature and amount of snow, I think we're at 48 inches now, and a normal winter is like 31, around here. We're above that and we're not done yet," Heath said.

Like the cities of Waterloo and Cedar Falls, the state's salt supply sings the same tune. According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, the state has used nearly 134,000 tons of salt to battle winter's antics with roughly 159,000 still on hand. Iowa's District 2 alone has used about 21,000 tons of salt with roughly 23,000 left for the rest of the winter season.
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