Salt shortage leaves local counties, cities without - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Salt shortage leaves local counties, cities without

All the snow and ice in the Heartland means road crews are using lots of salt. Now, some counties and cities are running out. All the snow and ice in the Heartland means road crews are using lots of salt. Now, some counties and cities are running out.
CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

All the snow and ice in the Heartland means road crews are using lots of salt. Now, some counties and cities are running out.

Usually the salt shed in Cape Girardeau County is packed with salt, but because of the shortage, the shed is completely empty. County leaders say they have the money to buy more salt for the county roads, but the problem is that there is no salt to buy.

“It’s usually got about four to five feet of salt granular salt in it and now it's all empty because we've used it up,” said Scott Bechtold, the Cape Girardeau County Highway Administrator.

Cape Girardeau County is scrapping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to salt.

“We will be reordering some, but right now we don't have any more available,” Bechtold said.

That’s thanks to the nationwide salt shortage.

“Everybody’s using it faster,” Bechtold said.

At Girardeau Stevadors, crews unload barges of salt and ship it out all over the Heartland, that includes Cape Girardeau County.

Owner Lanny Koch says they have gotten lots of salt shipments this winter.

"It's probably about double this year compared to last year,” Koch said.

The salt is shipped up from Louisiana on barges, which can take up for 15 days.

"About everybody up and down the river has gotten rid of all their stock piles and they're either out or what little they got it spoken for,” Koch said.

Koch says his crew ships the salt for a company called Cargill. Officials at Cargill say the extreme winter has many customers, throughout the region, needing more salt.

Cape Girardeau County crews say they hope the salt stock holds out, but if it doesn’t they will use other methods to clear the roads.

"Without salt, it might not melt quite as quickly in some of the temperatures,” Bechtold said. "If we can't get more salt, we can continue to use the cinders and the gravel."

Missouri Department of Transportation say they only have two-thirds the salt they usually have this time of year. They also say they’ve spend $1.9 million on salt.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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