By Tony Romeo and Diana Rocco
HARRISBURG, Pa., (CBS) — PennDOT has begun a round-the-clock hauling operation to bring tons of extra road salt into the state from Delaware, including an extra 6,000 tons for our region.
The effort will bring in a total of 20,000 tons of extra salt into Pennsylvania from the port of Wilmington. That may not sound like a lot, considering that so far this winter, PennDOT has burned through nearly a million tons of salt – 32 percent more than at this point, on average, over the past five years. But spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick says PennDOT has only 15,000 tons on the ground in the Philadelphia region, and this effort will bring in 6,000 more.
“Managing the supply as best we can, we think that this is the amount that will get us over the hump – get us through the next couple of weeks. And again, we’ll continue to order as needed,” Kirkpatrick said.
Kirkpatrick says the problem with salt is not a lack of supply but rather a problem with distribution, so commercial haulers will work around-the-clock for the next week or so to get extra supplies into the state.
Across the tri-state, counties from Delaware to New Jersey are preparing for whatever winter has left.
“We’re in good shape, we got a delivery of salt last week and all our salt barns are half full. It’s not perfect, but we’re ready to handle this storm and any other storm that comes along,” Camden County Freeholder Ian Leonard said.
Delaware says they still have two-thirds of their supply. They started with 45,000 tons and have 30,000 left enough for the next two to three storms.