St. Louis area facing dwindling salt supplies

February 26, 2014 by  

In common with several other cities and regions in the Midwest, St. Louis and its environs are facing a shortage of salt to melt snow and ice on roadways.

The harsh winter, which has brought storm after storm with heavy snow and bitterly cold temperatures, is expected to continue and, in St. Charles, Missouri, about 25 miles from St. Louis, road crews are using a half-sand, half-salt mixture to clear the roads and make the salt supplies go further.

St. Louis has said it has only enough salt left for two more storms at the most, adding that it has used 3,500 tons of salt thus far this winter. Normal usage is 2,000 tons.

Residents who want to use rock salt on their sidewalks are also having difficulty finding supplies. One store said that it was averaging 16 palettes of rock salt per day in January, but has been told there is no more salt available for the rest of the winter.

The city might consider working with brochure printers to create a mailer for residents of the city and its suburbs, explaining the issue should the weather pattern continue. Officials could also suggest safety measures residents could take to help themselves until the weather moderates, including walking rather than driving and avoiding travel unless it is entirely necessary.