Salt Supplies Being Used Fast During Icy Stretch

Posted at: 01/29/2013 6:41 PM
By: Brittany Lewis

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Salt is a much needed commodity for those trying to stay on their feet. But the commodity is in short supply. Hardware stores are running out. Ace Hardware in Rochester usually has three to four pallets of salt, Tuesday all that was left was Solar Salt.

Cindy Hamlin was on a mission Tuesday.

"I ran over quick on my lunch from work to get some salt for my sidewalk,” said Hamlin.

But salt was nowhere to be found. At Ace Hardware, the shelves empty, the pallets of salt, non-existent.

"We had most everything in stock yesterday morning at about five o'clock last night we ran out,” said Matt Neumann, store manager at Ace Hardware.

In the first four hours the store was open, 50 customers came looking for the cure to remove their ice.

"Total ice. Ice with water on top now,” said Hamlin.

But it was not there.

"For us, it's lost sales, we don't like sending our customers away, we like to have what they need," said Neumann.
"We don't have any snow, so we'll take all the ice we can get,” said Eric Harnes, owner of Hawkeye Services.

Loss of business, not an issue for Hawkeye Services. The local snow plow company salting more than 100 driveways and parking lots in the past few days.

"We've been very busy. We've been pretty much going around the clock,” said Harnes.

"When she rained, the impact of ice really froze for hundreds of miles so quickly the event was just horrible on how quickly it froze everything up,” said Robert Langanki, Maintenance Supervisor at MNDOT.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation used 350 tons worth of salt during the ice storm.

"Ice storms are the worst, they are probably the most costly events that we have to deal with at MNDOT because the only chemical that works decent is the salt,” said Langanki.

That salt can’t come soon enough to Ace Hardware. 

"More on a truck coming this afternoon,” said Neumann.

Good news for Hamlin who is hoping to continue a positive trend.

"I've been staying on my feet so far,” she said.

Neumann said when it comes to salting your driveways or sidewalks, try to scrape away the ice and then lay down the salt. The salt is more effective when placed on the actual surface.