Pinched: Salt Supplies Dwindle After Endless Storms

from As if traffic snarls, scrubbed flights and power outages weren’t enough misery, the latest bit of winter savagery to hit the Midwest and the East is an extreme shortage of the salt used to clear snow and ice off roadways. Many cities have been forced to ration salt after weeks of above-average snowfall and bone-chilling temperatures have nearly depleted their stockpiles. That’s left many streets treacherously slippery, putting motorists, their passengers and pedestrians at risk. By the end of January, for instance, the Pennsylvania Transportation Department had burned through 686,000 tons of salt — upwards of 200,000 tons more than used during an average year, according to the Associated Press.

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