Agencies stock up on salt as winter weather threatens again

Agencies stock up on salt as winter weather threatens again (Image 1)

With another brush of winter weather expected this week, many agencies are taking stock of salt supplies.

Salt is used with water to make brine to treat roads before a weather event, and then sprayed directly on the roads during and after freezing rain and snow.

Nashville's News 2 checked with several local city and county governments to get a status on salt.

In Metro Nashville Davidson County, Public Works crews have used 1,500 tons of salt and 500,000 gallons of brine. The current supplies are said to be in “good shape.”

Rutherford County reports a stock of three-fourths of its initial salt supply. Much of the supplies depleted so far have been used at fire scenes. Water used to douse flames in cold weather freezes on the ground creating hazardous conditions for firefighters and investigators. Salt is used to make walkways safe for emergency responders.

Williamson County was scheduled to get a salt shipment from Hailey's Harbor Tuesday morning to bring its supplies up to adequate levels.

Hailey's Harbor is a private company that distributes numerous materials including dirt, sand, and salt. The overnight foreman told Nashville's News 2's Heather Jensen that he expects supplies to run out if severe weather continues across the eastern United States.

Salt mines are struggling to keep up with demand, and supplies are going farther than before.

In recent weeks, Hailey's Harbor has shipped salt to middle Tennessee areas like Gallatin, Montgomery County and Williamson County, and to parts north and south like Indianapolis, Birmingham, and Atlanta.

The local company is also relying heavily on ground transportation because of frozen waterways.

Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) was able to receive a barge shipment last week. According to officials, the state agency has used less than half of its 237,000 tons of salt. Supplies are maintained through three vendors for the state's 95 counties.

How long local salt supplies will last will depend on how much severe weather lands in Middle Tennessee and surrounding areas.

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