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Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:13 PM

How the HELL does a city in the North East run out of Salt in January?!

In the town my wife and I live in we have a rumor flying around and even confirmed by the wife of Penn Dot employee that verifies this town has ran out of salt for the roads.

We had about 5 inches of snow come through yesterday which made life even worse due to the fact that all the salt trucks could do was basically plow the streets which didn't do much for driving or getting around in this town.

My wife canceled part of her say for fear of driving. The client she cancel just needed someone to clean there home not getting important service like getting a meal or into a wheelchair to be functional.

This morning a five minute trip took 15 minutes. The roads are terrible. The main roads have been plow clear for the most part but some areas are terrible. side roads are bad.

Some side roads and low traffic my wife didn't know side of the road ditch area and the road. She was late to get to a client's house and the daughter of the client flip-out on my wife even though in the same breath she saying the roads are bad.

Now we could have another storm come through Sunday into Monday and it is really getting me pissed that I know these roads aren't going to be ready.

42 replies, 2812 views

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Reply How the HELL does a city in the North East run out of Salt in January?! (Original post)
diabeticman Jan 2014 OP
Niceguy1 Jan 2014 #1
badtoworse Jan 2014 #2
markpkessinger Jan 2014 #3
diabeticman Jan 2014 #5
madinmaryland Jan 2014 #21
femmocrat Jan 2014 #34
al_liberal Jan 2014 #4
bluestate10 Jan 2014 #28
Igel Jan 2014 #32
LiberalFighter Jan 2014 #42
jmowreader Jan 2014 #33
ManiacJoe Jan 2014 #6
diabeticman Jan 2014 #7
ManiacJoe Jan 2014 #11
diabeticman Jan 2014 #13
ManiacJoe Jan 2014 #17
Hassin Bin Sober Jan 2014 #20
madinmaryland Jan 2014 #23
WillowTree Jan 2014 #25
madinmaryland Jan 2014 #30
2naSalit Jan 2014 #40
bluestate10 Jan 2014 #29
Gidney N Cloyd Jan 2014 #8
RC Jan 2014 #12
cherokeeprogressive Jan 2014 #16
2naSalit Jan 2014 #41
dionysus Jan 2014 #18
tiredtoo Jan 2014 #9
pinto Jan 2014 #10
diabeticman Jan 2014 #14
zappaman Jan 2014 #15
dionysus Jan 2014 #19
A HERETIC I AM Jan 2014 #24
el_bryanto Jan 2014 #22
MannyGoldstein Jan 2014 #26
BlueStreak Jan 2014 #27
MADem Jan 2014 #31
Pretzel_Warrior Jan 2014 #35
bhikkhu Jan 2014 #36
mindwalker_i Jan 2014 #37
OwnedByCats Jan 2014 #38
indie9197 Jan 2014 #39

Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:17 PM

1. oops somebody forgot to order it

or report the inventory levels sea-tac airport ran out andcwas out for a few days once

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:17 PM

2. They probably didn't buy enough

 

Maybe they were hoping it wouldn't snow much and they'd have money to spend on something else.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:18 PM

3. That's pretty outrageous . . .

In what part of PA do you live (I grew up in Clinton County, and still have family there, as well as in Erie, Allentown and Pittsburgh)? Has there been an unusual amount of snow for your area so far this winter?

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:20 PM

5. Lawrence county.

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Response to diabeticman (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:59 PM

21. Holy Shit. That's where my Dad lives.

Stay safe. They don't go out often this time of year.

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:58 PM

34. Yes Western PA has higher-than-average snowfall so far this year.

Sorry, couldn't find a source... I heard it on the local weather report recently.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:20 PM

4. It's the newer, better, lower taxes government.

Where my daughter lives in Salem, NH they don't plow or salt the streets. "Live Free or Die" doncha know.

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Response to al_liberal (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:22 PM

28. BINGO, we have a winner.

Governments budget for snow plowing and road salting. But governments can also under budget, and in the end run out of salt. Most governments do secondary budgets to cover shortfalls, but with today's avoidance of taxing the rich, there is nowhere to get the money, or republican governments that hate society so much that they simply don't budget any money that makes society run properly.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #28)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:57 PM

32. Or they budget for the general case and get socked with a lot of snow and ice.

Baltimore County when I used to live there was about out of salt (or calcium chloride) one winter. They said they had enough for one more snowfall before running out, with no time to get more and not much money budgeted for it.

Fortunately they had one more fairly light snowfall that year and then spring arrived.

No austerity in play. It was just a rough winter, with 3 feet of snow sandwiched between a couple of other snowstorms. Baltimore doesn't get that kind of snow very often.


Could be worse. Also lived in Eugene, Oregon, when they got a couple of feet of snow. The city shut down, snow, bright blue skies, and highs in the low 20s for a couple of days. Weird.

Sort of surprising to find out that not only didn't the city have a stockpile of sand or salt, but they didn't even have a snow plow. Not even under contract. It took a few days before they could get plows from other cities, and by then the cold snap was mostly over and the delightful grey skies and incessant drizzle had returned.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #28)

Sat Jan 4, 2014, 02:21 AM

42. In that case they should avoid salting areas where the rich live

since they don't pay their fair share.

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Response to al_liberal (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:57 PM

33. More like "Live Free AND Die"

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:23 PM

6. Are there many places that still use salt?

Sand is obviously used just about everywhere. Or is that what you meant?

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:27 PM

7. Actually I have never heard of Sand being used it is always salt around here.

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Response to diabeticman (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:32 PM

11. For places that use salt,

it is usually mixed in with the sand. Never heard of any place using just salt.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:36 PM

13. My wife just asked the Penn Dot worker about that and The city we live in general use all salt

Penn Dot does a mix of gravel and salt.

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Response to diabeticman (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:50 PM

17. Interesting choice.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:54 PM

20. I've been in Chicago my whole life and never seen sand anywhere in the area

First time I saw sand was in Oklahoma as a freshman in college.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:01 PM

23. I lived in CT and MD and sand was actually used a lot more than salt. Doesn't

corrode the vehicles nearly as much and provides traction when it gets below about 15 degrees.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:14 PM

25. But does nothing to melt the ice.

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Response to WillowTree (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:31 PM

30. No it doesn't melt ice. But it does work well for traction, when salt doesn't really do much

other than melt and then refreeze and make it even slicker.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #30)

Sat Jan 4, 2014, 02:01 AM

40. Not only that

salt melts holes so that you have potholes in the hard pack or ice, Sand works best for really bad cold like that area is experiencing right now. Salt will sit in clumps and make holes, sand will give traction, as you said, and will also help melt the snow/ice when it warms up enough because it's darker and collects more heat naturally. The sand will stay in place and provide traction longer too.

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Response to diabeticman (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:23 PM

29. My state uses a sand/salt mix. It works well. nt

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:27 PM

8. They certainly use it in Northern IL.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:33 PM

12. They use salt only in the Kansas City area.

 

No sand. When I lived in North Dakota, they used salted sand. A little goes a long way. Of course it is usually so cold in North Dakota, the streets are not slick, even without the salted sand. But when it warms up, above +10, or so, any areas missed can become glare ice, from the traffic.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:49 PM

16. Cinder only here. And I'll tell you two things: It WORKS, and it doesn't ruin cars.

 

I can't imagine why anything else would ever be used.

I live at 7,000 feet in Southern California and once the cinder has been spread... it's a whole new ball game. The only thing I hate is when I get the Harley out in the Spring. The cinder is still on the road in certain places and if you're not careful, and lots of people aren't, it's a low-side crash for you most certainly.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #16)

Sat Jan 4, 2014, 02:05 AM

41. Out here in

the Rockies they use sand and cinders but on the passes they have been using brine spray for black ice patches. It's basically an arid climate so the brine helps evaporate the ice but if it's thick stuff and solid floor, they just throw sand and cinders on it for traction.

And I have to agree , cinders in the spring isn't fun, neither is sand - too slippery on corners where it tends to be. They have to use so much of it up here (also at 7,000ft and higher) that is turns into sand banks like little snow banks in early spring.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:52 PM

18. here in western NY, just salt.. back home in maine.. sand. depends on the area i suppose...

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:27 PM

9. Austerity can be a bitch

 

We here in Michigan are driving on snow covered roads much, much more then back in the good ol days when we had Democrats running the state. But from a positive point the "job creators" are enjoying their visits to their money in the Cayman Islands.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:31 PM

10. No clue to your supply issue. Yet at extremely cold temps salt does no good on roads.

Just doesn't work. Hope things clear up soon for you all.

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Response to pinto (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:41 PM

14. Right BUT when the temp was warm enough to make snow they could have used salt to help with

the roads

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:46 PM

15. Pretzels.

Lots and lots of pretzels.

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Response to zappaman (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 10:54 PM

19. that won't do shit to 3 meters of hail.

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Response to dionysus (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:06 PM

24. ...

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:00 PM

22. Look - those salted caramels are really really really . . . really good! nt

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:14 PM

26. If God wants clean roads, he'll clean them himself

 

Salt is for nonbelievers and Satanists.

Regards,

Faith-based Manny

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:16 PM

27. The same way Indianapolis forgot to call in the plow operators

 

The forecast called for 1 inch. I guess they threw down a little salt in advance of the storm and figured that would do it. But we got 6-8 inches instead when a little cell at the tail end of the storm decided to just sit over the city for abut 5 hours dumping snow.

That isn't an extraordinary amount of snow, but when you don't have many trucks out overnight, it makes a real mess the next day.

For all our technology, it is still a crap shoot on these things.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:45 PM

31. Perhaps they purchased based on use for the past few years, instead of worst case.

It's smart to always buy enough for the most horrible winter, that way, if you have leftovers, you just save those for next year and replace what you used.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:59 PM

35. Turkey brining was way more popular than planned this year

 

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Jan 4, 2014, 12:05 AM

36. In oregon, we don't use salt at all

most of the roads are kept reasonably well plowed and a sprinkling of gravel is put over packed areas. I wouldn't say that nobody complains about slick roads, but I've been driving on them with plain old tires for 10 years, and bicycling quite a bit too; its not a big deal, you just go slower.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #36)

Sat Jan 4, 2014, 12:11 AM

37. Yeah, they coat the roads in grape-nuts

Has the consistency of gravel, and feeds birds too.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Jan 4, 2014, 12:14 AM

38. That's interesting

I live in NY and I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say, for most of my life, they want to buy a car from PA because they don't use salt there. Admittedly I haven't heard that within the last few years. Did PA start using salt, or have NY people been tragically misguided? lol

Anyway I had to drive from Omaha Nebraska to NY back in 2010 and went through PA, in a blizzard, saw no salt being used. Maybe they ran out? lol

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sat Jan 4, 2014, 01:59 AM

39. We don't ever run out of salt here in Utah.

And interestingly enough, it doesnt seem to rust out cars like it does back east. Maybe the low humidity here helps but you rarely see rusted out cars like you see in the NE. (exept maybe old Toyota Landcruisers)

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