Salt Shortages Causing Concern As 11th Winter Storm Approaches
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By Syma Chowdhry
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When you see white, you need what’s being called “white gold.”
It is in higher demand this Valentine’s Day than jewelry. It won’t melt your heart, but it will melt the snow on streets and sidewalks.
But with another winter storm heading our way stores like Home Depot are running low on their salt supply.
Assistant Manager Mary Devine says, “We just sold out.”
The Home Depot store on Roosevelt Boulevard got a shipment of about 800 bags of salt, but sold out quickly.
Devine says,“Keep checking. Keep calling. As soon as it gets here, you’ve only got about an hour’s time, an hour’s window. But we are doing the best job we could.”
Angela Brown struck gold, after striking out at another store.
“I went to the Walmart in Gloucester but they were out. They had nothing.”
On the flip side, mom and pop stores like Warrens Hardware in Mullica Hill are stocked with salt.
Co-Owner of Warrens Hardware Rick Fabrizio says,“Well we have a little niche in the market. With big boxes it takes usually a three to four to six week turnaround. We’re really fortunate, we’ve been able to get stuff in a week or two.”
Store owners say it’s been hard to figure out how much salt to order this season.
“It’s all time effective. We can’t sell it if we don’t have it, but if it is not here on time, it’s like having spilled milk. It’s no good.”
However, shoppers and store owners aren’t the only ones seeing a shortage of salt. Some municipalities may not be 100 percent ready for this next storm.
Southampton Township Administrator Kathleen Hoffman says,“The rationing of the salt has become even more difficult.”
The town needs 150 tons of salt per snow storm and they only have 75 tons. They will only be able to salt essential roads & intersections.
Hoffman is asking residents to stay home during the storm if they can.
In the meantime, officials are looking into alternative measures.
Hoffman says, “Out in the Midwest they are using molasses combined with the salt. They are also using cheese brine and actually beets. I’m on the Internet trying to research that.”