SIKESTON -- While other states are seeing salt shortages due to a snowy winter, local departments are doing fine so far.
"We're doing alright. We have about 16,000 tons on hand districtwide with another 16,000 tons on order," said Keith Gentry, maintenance superintendent for the the Missouri Department of Transportation's southeast district. "We used quite a bit in this last storm."
Gentry said there is the possibility local orders for salt may be diverted, however.
"Jefferson City is looking at the whole picture statewide and will distribute the salt where it is needed most," he said. "Statewide there are some other districts that are hurting worse than we are." Gentry said these districts are for the most part located in the northwestern areas of the state around Kansas City: "They've had more snow than we've had this winter."
In addition to having orders for more salt diverted, it looks like local stockpiles will be moved to the western part of the district near Poplar Bluff.
"They're running lower than anywhere else in the district so we're redistributing some of our our salt to that area," Gentry said. "But we're doing pretty well districtwide. We'll just have to see what the rest of the winter brings."
"We're in real good supply of salt and sand," said Norman Brant, Scott County highway department superintendent. "We put out about eight to 10 dump-
truck loads out during this last ice storm."
He estimated preparing for and responding to the ice storm used up about half of the county's stockpile. "We'll replenish that next week," Brant said.
As usual, county crews spread salt and sand before the storm, although some of that was probably washed away by the rain.
"This storm was a lot different than normal in that it rained quite a bit as it was freezing," Brant said.
The county's crews usually blade the road after it snows and then put salt on top of the snow and ice that isn't removed with the motor grader's blade. "It puts salt on top and on bottom," he said.
Last week's ice storm made it difficult to follow the county's procedures for salting roads.
"We weren't able to spread it continuously like we normally do," he said. "There were so many trees down we couldn't get up and down the roads. We had to clear limbs first."
Some departments in the area won't be short on salt because they don't use it in the first place.
"We don't stockpile or use salt," said Richard Wallace, Mississippi County road and bridge superintendent.
Wallace said major thoroughfares in Mississippi County are state roads which MoDOT took good care of during last week's ice storm although there was other work to keep his department busy.
"We had a lot of tree limbs and goodies we had to gather up," he said.