Shortage of road salt presents new challenges

A shortage of road salt may be a challenge for highway crews.

"Snow is what we do," said Neal Glatt with Case Snow in North Attleboro. "So, we're ready for it as best we can be.'

But, a national salt shortage is going to make crews think twice before laying down too much sodium chloride.

"We're going to be using a lot more mechanical means to plow the snow than de-icing means," Glatt said. "So if we used to salt at one inch, now we're going to plow."

Case Snow says a lot of factors have contributed to the shortage including the fact that they've been out dealing with snow more than usual.

"It's been a very icy winter across the whole country, he said. "The weather's been difficult for ships to come up here. Overuse and lack of supply have led to a shortage for everybody."

Case Snow mostly clears private property, but they say the shortage is affecting cities and towns just the same.

And in Rhode Island, state police will be on the roads just in case the snow rain mix causes several drivers to slip and slide.

"Putting additional troopers on the road during that commute to help assist with any accidents or any issues that we may encounter," Lt. William Jamieson with RI State Police said.

Ice isn't the only thing they're worried about, isolated flooding is also a concern.

"The storm drains can get clogged with snow and ice which can cause localized flooding in certain areas," Jamieson said. "D.O.T. is well aware of that, and we'll be working alongside them to identity those troubled areas, and to address those situations."

How bad will it get? Only time will tell, but the crews a bracing for the worst, but hoping for the best.

"We still have another three to four weeks of winter," Glatt said. "So that's a lot of winter to get through still."

The storms supposed to pick up early Thursday during the morning commute so state police also ask drivers to give themselves extra time to get to work.