No salt in Nicholas County calls for creative solution

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NICHOLAS COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The roads were dry and the skies were clear Tuesday afternoon, but that's all about to change with snow coming and that could be a real problem in Nicholas County.

"Long story short, we've went through all of that salt. Now we kind of got down to one point where we're just down to pushing the roads with our blades. We really didn't have anything to put on them," answered Judge Executive Mike Pryor.

Around an inch is expected for the Nicholas County area, and now they're left with nothing to treat the roads.

"We have to depend a lot on Mother Nature so that ice will melt," said Pryor, who doesn't like this position so he's coming up with different a plan.

"We're going to prepare and try to wait to the point that the snow stops and then start scraping," he said, "If it comes down to the safety of our people in the county, and we do need to purchase some more salt we'll look to do that. But at this time, everyone we talk to says there's absolutely none available."

Road Foreman Michael Watkins added, "Yeah, it makes me real nervous, but we'll do what we've got to do, you know."

Watkins knows his crew will be fighting a battle without a full arsenal, but the county just might have a little something to help: cinder.

"I was amazed when we first used it," admitted Watkins.

Pryor continued to say the county got the cinders from DP&L in Ohio and East Kentucky Power. By turning to the cinder it gives the county a free alternative, with a way to give traction on the roadways. This gives them something when there isn't much else that can be done.

"It's not got the melting power like salt, but I mean it works pretty good," described Watkins, "We've got to do something to cut the cost a little bit."

It has to work because at this time it's all they have.

"I think we'll be alright with the cinders and stuff," concluded Watkins.

The county said they'll likely use cinder mixed in with their salt to stretch their supply in the future.

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