Checkup on area salt levels - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Checkup on area salt levels

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- While we may not have as much snow on the ground as in years past.  The recent active weather stretch has taken a toll on local salt supply's.

Snow,  Ice, and more snow. The recent active weather across the area has started to make salt supplies disappear.
"These little Arctic Clippers, these two inch snowfalls we still have to apply chemicals," said Robert Langanki of MnDOT
And those Clippers tend to use up about same amount of material as in a 12 inch snow event.
"Normally we're not apply materials during the snow even when 12 inches of snow is falling.  We're plowing it, cleaning it off the best we can until the storm is done,"said Langanki

We have had much in the way of the white stuff lately, but with an ice storm and back to back to back rounds of light snow, crews have certainly been busy.

"We have approximately 6,500 tons of salt left here in Rochester.  I roughly on average go through anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 a year," said Langanki

Even with the active stretch of weather MNDOT says there will be enough salt.  Austin Public Works have already used more salt and sand this year to date than they did all of last Winter.  That's just over 50 percent of their supply for the winter. 25 percent alone of their supply went into that 3 day stretch last week dealing with the effects of our ice storm.

"Salt consumption probably gets tripled or even quadrupled because of it being a pure moisture it's locked into the road," said Langanki

But even if there's enough salt in the short term the people applying it need a break.

"It gets to be a little tiresome and where they consistently have to look at the objective and come into work at off hours," said Langanki

For the salt supply going forward, as temperatures slowly climb through February and March the salt will work better since it is more effective with warmer temps.

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