Ahead of Monday’s winter storm, Stateline-area residents are already preparing for the cleanup, but they may find that salt is becoming hard to find.
Steven Scalish, Store Manager for Blain’s Farm & Fleet, says, “Our buying team is working very hard to get as much in as fast as we can. The demand, right now, is overwhelming.”
Blain’s customer George Fiore was stocking up on salt Monday, saying, “I’ve been fighting since the last ice storm to get salt.”
James DeBoe echoed him, saying, “I called up this morning and they said they have one pallet left, so I boogied over here. I didn’t want to miss this.”
“I got four bags Saturday, but I need ice melter for where the dog walks,” said customer Merrill Humble.
“The City didn’t clean up and you got to try to get [salt] to clean it up. I mean, they dropped the ball on this one,” said Charles Williams.
Did the City of Rockford drop the ball on salting icy streets?
The Department of Public Works says that, with the snow and rain, lately, they are having a hard time finding salt themselves.
Street Division Superintendent Mitch Leatherby said, “Once January hit, we’ve been in back-to-back operations it seems, like, every other day. It’s not only difficult for us to get salt, it’s also been difficult for any other municipality in the surrounding area. So, all the salt suppliers, regionally, are doing the best they can to keep everybody afloat until we at least get a break for a couple of weeks, to get that reserve built up to where we want it to be.”
Leatherby said his men are pulling twelve-hour shifts to treat the main roads, leaving the residential streets at the short end of the stick.
On top of that, once the temperature drops below 10 degrees, the salt ultimately becomes ineffective.
“With everything that happened last week, with the thickness of the ice, it’s going to take multiple rounds to get them back to bare pavement,” Leatherby said.
For the time being, salt supplies will remain low across the stateline, athough many stores are expecting more shipments Monday evening and Tuesday.