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Charlotte’s rock salt supply at halfway level after two winter storms

“After the first storm, we placed an order with our vendor, and they had trucks rolling in the next day,”
Crews are beginning to salt and treat the roads again for a possible third winter storm in as many weeks
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 9:04 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - With back-to-back winter storms hitting Charlotte, and a third on the way, one starts to wonder, do the city road crews have enough salt to treat snowy roads?

As we’ve all experienced so far, rock salt can make a big difference in how we drive our cars helping keep us safe if we must be out and about on slippery roads.

Charlotte Department of Transportation says going into each winter season, it makes sure there are five thousand tons of salt ready to treat our roads.

“We’ve currently got between 25-hundred, about 2,250 tons on hand currently, so we’re well prepared for this weekend,” said, Charlie Jones, CDOT Deputy Superintendent of Street Maintenance.

CDOT is watching the forecast for another winter storm for the third weekend in a row, so we talked to them about having enough salt to treat roads in the city.

“After the first storm, we placed an order with our vendor, and they had trucks rolling in the next day,” said Jones.

Over the past 2-weeks, road crews in Charlotte have used 3,000 tons of salt to treat our roads.

Jones added, “the first snowstorm is had been a thousand days since we had measurable snow here in Charlotte, so the first snowstorm wasn’t that bad, the back-to-back is something he hasn’t seen in a number of years.”

WBTV Chief Meteorologist Al Conklin said it’s normal for it to snow in Charlotte, but the back-to-back pattern is rare.

“I have not witnessed a pattern like this in my 29 years here, however it has happened before and a lot of longtime viewers talk about this back in March of 1960. It snowed on three or four straight Wednesdays and school was out for the better part of the month because we had big snowstorms, and then before they could clean it up, another one would come and so this went on for the entire month, so it’s happened before here but not in quite some time,” Conklin said.

If you’re a snow lover, Conklin says this pattern will come to an end soon, so enjoy it if it comes.

“Oh, we are definitely heading back up. And I’d say probably in the next week or so you’re going to see temperatures go above average again and probably stay there for a while, so if this isn’t your kind of weather just stick around. It’s going to change.”

CDOT tells me the material cost of salting the roads over the past few weeks have cost has been about $260,000.

The agency only sees a problem in replenishing the salt barns if all the municipalities across the East Coast reordered salt at the same time.

North Carolina Department of Transportation tells WBTV it has used the following in Mecklenburg County during the last two storms:

- 3,500 tons of salt to treat snow/ice-covered roads.

- 145,000 gallons of brine used to pretreat roads 24-48 hours before a storm if conditions are dry.

- 300,000 to 400,000 gallons of a brine and calcium blend used to remove snow and ice during or after a storm. This mixture can be added to rock salt and used to reduce the freezing temperature to 18-19 degrees.

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