Road salt usage up in Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) A Lexington barn is packed with about 3,000 tons of salt and there's another 2,500 ton pile of salt nearby.

While there is plenty of the de-icing agent in the city, there is a high demand for it and some areas are running low on supplies.

Wisconsin store owners say they don't have much salt left because people from other states hit hard this winter, such as Kentucky, are buying up their salt.

“There are a lot of states that don't normally buy that type of product that have had very cold, rainy, snowy winters. So southern Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, even Texas are using more product than they ever had before and they're pulling from our warehouses," said business owner Lee Vanevenhoven.

Lexington Streets and Roads officials say during an average year the city uses 10,000 tons of salt for 1,400 miles of road.

Streets and Roads acting Deputy Director Rob Allen says the past two winters were so mild they had salt left over. But he says it’s been a much different story this winter and they've had to use a lot more salt.

Kentucky Transportation officials say because so many other states in the Midwest and South also need salt, deliveries to Kentucky are slow. But they say shipments are coming in every day to keep each county's salt supply full to capacity.

City officials say they buy the year's supply of salt ahead of time so they don't run into shortages.

"Lexington is in pretty good shape. We have on average 25 or so events with snow and ice and we are right on schedule to have an average winter in Kentucky," said Allen.

Allen says with more winter weather on the way they are planning to pre-treat the roads and put more salt down Thursday and Friday.

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