Stark County: Severe salt shortage crippling efforts to keep ice off roads

STARK COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - There is a severe salt shortage in Stark county, which is crippling efforts to keep ice off the roads.

You have to ask the question: how did this happen?

The answer seems to be dependent on who you ask.

According to the county's road department, shipments of previously ordered salt simply aren't arriving.

That leads to another question: why?

Salt supplier Cargill is telling road crews the fault lies with the trucking companies.

The trucking companies counter that they aren't being allowed to take their usual amounts of salt.

A look into the salt stockpile at the Canton Township Road Department is all you need to see.  In the yard, trucks are gassing up, but not being loaded with salt.

On the road, following a salt truck you see no salt is being laid down. A load is expected from a mine in Pennsylvania, but it will cost two times more than normal.

The same is true in Perry Township where salt has been ordered but not delivered, said Road Supervisor Chris Young, pointing to his depleted supply.

"We probably got about one half of what we've ordered in so far, so we need another 1,500 ton. That salt there is probably another three trips out. After that, we're pretty much done. Then we'll have to, I don't know what we'll do after we run out of that."

The lack of salting has created ice buildups that crews here have to go out and tackle one at a time.  Even then, salt is only lightly applied.

With more snow and ice expected this week, it looks like spreading less salt on each run and only salting intersections, and hilly areas will be the order of the day.

"This is the first time this has happened where we've gotten this low on salt and maybe not getting any more salt in," said Young.

The forecast for the rest of the week is for more snow and ice.

For now, only intersections and hilly areas will be salted.

For drivers, the best advice is to slow down and be safe.

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