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Area Experiencing Salt Shortage After Ice Storm

Need rock salt for your icy pavement? Don't expect to find it at hardware stores in the Burlington area.
BURLINGTON, VT. -

Need rock salt for your icy pavement? Don't expect to find it at hardware stores in the Burlington area.

"We don't face it every year. It's particularly bad this year because of the ice storm,” said Derek Prue, Bibens Ace Hardware Assistant Manager.

Bibens Ace Hardware is not alone. On Monday, the shelves at Lowe's in Essex Junction were also empty. And that was the case at every hardware store we called in the area.

Ace Hardware's assistant manager Derek Prue says this doesn't happen often.

“We're having a hard time getting it from Oliver Seed up in Milton is our supplier,” said Prue.

Oliver Seed Company has gone through 900 tons and 6,500 bags in 3 weeks. It says it’s out of salt until their next shipment on Thursday.

Oliver Seed Company’s Steve Hardy said, "Probably unprecedented as far as the amount of salt that we've had a demand for in the last 2 weeks. We haven't seen this, locally, type of demand since the ice storm of '98."

But not everybody's low on salt. There is still plenty for the roads. Public Works Departments around Burlington say they keep a large supply of it on hand.

Williston Public Works Director Bruce Hoar says he orders about 2,000 tons of salt for every winter. Right now,  his supply is down about 40%, mostly due to the recent ice storm.

"Our shed was pretty much full and we saw the back of it which we don't normally see. So we went through a lot of salt,” said Williston Public Works Director, Bruce Hoar.

If Oliver Seed's shipment goes as planned, both Ace and Lowe's expect to have salt shortly after.

Until then, you can buy ice melt and sand and of course, watch your step!


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