Gov: 22 towns in need of salt as 2 storms approach CT - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Gov: 22 towns in need of salt as 2 storms approach CT

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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said at least 22 towns have contacted state officials and said they are in need of salt as two storms are headed toward Connecticut.

At a press conference on Friday morning, Malloy said the state is offering a relief package for all the towns in Connecticut facing a salt shortage.

However, the governor asked all Connecticut towns to contact the state, so they can help them with their salt needs.

"I want to encourage towns to contact us if they need salt," Malloy said and added that the towns should reach out to the Emergency Operation Center.

As of noon on Friday, 122 towns have contacted the state, DOT officials said. The state plans to reach out to the leaders in all the Connecticut towns to see their salt needs.

DOT officials are coordinating efforts to get salt to the towns in need. There are six locations across the state that will be giving out the salt starting at noon on Friday.

Connecticut along with other states in the region have gone through its salt supplies fast and are in need of more. Many officials have blamed the national salt shortage on the wicked weather hitting the country.

Malloy declared Connecticut in a state of emergency and made a request to the president to get a shipment of salt delivered right away.

"I am hopeful that President Obama will act quickly on my request," Malloy said.

Following the 12th storm of the year, Malloy said at a press conference Thursday night the state has enough salt for one more storm, but that was all. However, he corrected himself on Friday afternoon and said the state has enough salt supply for two storms.

Two more storms, Saturday and Sunday night into Monday, are expected to hit Connecticut this weekend, Malloy said.

There are 88 towns on the state contract, which means they receive salt from the state Department of Transportation.

"The majority, 88 out of 167 municipalities, have options to utilize the state salt contract with International Salt," said DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker in a statement Friday. "The DOT, working directly with International Salt, will defer all of its contractual deliveries of salt to the state until all of the 88 municipalities using the state contract receive their necessary quantities of salt."

Cities such as East Hartford, Vernon and Torrington told Eyewitness News they are only getting a small part of what they usually order because of the national shortage. 

North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda said the town is "paying three times as much as we normally would" for salt this year.

"There's a salt shortage throughout Connecticut," Freda said.

North Haven usually spends about $84 a ton. But it ran out before Thursday's storm, so they bought a cheaper grade for $230 a ton.

Southbury recently had to declare a state of emergency so it could buy more. They budgeted $205,000 and the first selectman transferred $150,000 more into the salt budget, which will put their salt spending at $355,000. 

Norwich thought it could get by with $187,000, but has already spent $210,000.

Torrington has already blown through its $462,000 salt budget and just ordered 1,200 more tons. Torrington officials told Eyewitness News they have enough salt to treat their roadways for Storm Easton.

The Public Works Director Jerry Rollett said the city is experiencing the worst salt shortage he has ever seen. They'll desperately need a shipment after Winter Storm Easton and Rollett said he has been waiting well over a week for the product. 

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