Feb 14, 2014
06:44 AMConnecticut Today
What If Connecticut Towns Have No Road Salt When Next Snowstorm Hits?
Forget snowfall totals from Storm Easton—well, don’t forget them, but there’s a bigger issue to worry about.
According to the state, Easton was Connecticut’s 12th “winter weather event,” and while that tally makes most of us weary and more than ready for spring to sprout, it also means that some state municipalities may be tapped out when it comes to supplies like road salt.
Evidence of residents being weary is easy to find. One of the more colorful examples is the soda company Avery’s Beverages in New Britain coming out with a Sick of Snow flavor, that WFSB says is lemon pineapple and, well, yellow.
Evidence of the more serious impact of all this snow came Thursday when Gov. Dannel P. Malloy declared a State of Emergency so Connecticut can pursue federal aid for municipalities that are experiencing road salt shortages.
“I have asked our state emergency management personnel to reach out to our cities and towns tonight and get more information on what their salt supplies look like right now, indicating to us how much they currently have on hand and how much they use in a typical storm," Malloy said in a release. "This will enable us to pursue a request to the federal government to assist these communities to increase their supplies as the winter season continues."
The governor added, "I want to stress that this request is to address the issue of salt supplies for the remainder of this winter season as there surely will be additional snow and ice events this year. With winter storms impacting many parts of the country, some of which don’t typically see this type of weather, salt supplies are being stretched throughout the entire eastern portion of the U.S.”
The governor is so concerned that he followed up the declaration with an announcement Friday morning of a noon press briefing to announce plans to make road salt available to municipalities.
At that press conference, that governor said that any municipality that does not utilize the state contract can contact the DOT, which will coordinate the provision of salt to that town to meet their emergency needs.
As of noon Friday, 121 municipalities responded to the survey with 22 requests for assistance, he said, according to a release posted online.
"The majority, 88 out of 167 municipalities, have options to utilize the state salt contract with International Salt,” said DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker in the release. “The DOT, working directly with International Salt, will defer all of its contractual deliveries of salt to the state until all of the 88 municipalities using the state contract receive their necessary quantities of salt.”
Those deliveries were suspended Thursday due to the heavy snow in the Port of New Haven and on the roadway network, and will take place beginning at noon today, the release said.
After assessing the current inventory of salt at DOT facilities and ensuring that there is sufficient salt to address the anticipated demand for salt on state highways, the DOT is offering the municipalities not using the state contract access to its remaining, though limited, salt inventories.
“I applaud the immediate and comprehensive response by the DOT in meeting the needs of our municipal partners across the state. Their commitment to safety across the state and municipal network is one more demonstration of the agency’s commitment to the citizens of Connecticut," the governor said.