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Brutal Winter Causing Salt Shortage In Charleston

Reported: Feb. 26, 2014 11:07 AM EST
Updated: Feb. 27, 2014 9:37 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katelyn Sykes) -- As winter continues to drop snow across West Virginia salt supplies are starting to dwindle.

The city of Charleston only has about 1,800 tons of salt left and said it is concerned it's not enough.

"Everybody likes that nice, comfortable warm feeling and we're not getting it right now," said Gary Taylor, public works director for the city of Charleston. "We don't have enough salt on the ground that we'd like to have."

Workers used 500 to 700 tons of salt to treat city streets on Wednesday after 1 to 2 inches of snow covered the roads.

Taylor said getting more salt into the city hasn't been easy.

"I just placed an order yesterday for 4,000 tons and they told me two to three weeks on it," he said. "So what we've got, is what we've got for right now."

The state Division of Highways also is seeing a salt shortage. The district in Charleston treats 210 miles of state highways from Dunbar to the West Virginia Turnpike and up to Elkview. On Wednesday, it used at least 50 tons of salt.

This winter has been brutal and the demand for salt has been high up and down the East Coast.

"The last bay that we're in right now is salt that we actually had two years ago that we didn't use because of the mild winter's that we've had up to this point," Taylor said.

Even though March is just days away and spring is just around the corner, city officials aren't holding their breath that this is the last of winter we will see, or the last of the salt they will use.

"We've seen snow clear up into April, so we just hope that the deliveries will come. If they don't, we'll stretch it out and do the best we can with it," Taylor said.

Taylor said he's not sure when a new delivery of salt will get to Charleston. State crews said they expected a fresh salt delivery on Wednesday.



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