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Gov. Dannel Malloy Worries About Salt Shortage After Storm Smacks Connecticut

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (file/credit: Getty Images)

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (file/credit: Getty Images)

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Though Connecticut experienced another heavy snowfall Thursday, the state escaped a serious hit, with far fewer power outages than originally predicted.

As WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported, that left Gov. Dannel P. Malloy with another chief concern: a salt shortage.

The governor said the state is low on its salt supply, as are many towns and cities in Connecticut.

“Salt’s going out a lot faster this storm because of its duration,” Malloy told Schneidau. “For instance, a normal storm is about 15 tons. This storm will be at least 25 tons.”

Malloy said he’s requesting from FEMA and the White House any assistance they can offer.

Several southern Connecticut communities saw more than a foot of snow Thursday. Among the hardest hit were Fairfield (14 inches), Milford (13.5) and Darien (13.0). The National Weather Service said another 3 to 7 inches of snow would fall overnight.

The latest storm was added to already depleted snow removal budgets. The DOT had already spent all $30 million in 11 storms this season before the latest storm.

In New Haven, the budget for materials and private contractors hired to help has received an additional $200,000 infusion and will likely require an additional transfer to cover costs, said city spokesman Laurence Grotheer. The budget for overtime costs will likely be used up with the latest storm, he said.

Most schools in Connecticut were closed Thursday as plow trucks struggled to keep roads clear in a heavy winter storm. The governor ordered some government workers not to report to work.

Malloy noted some workers, like hospital employees and others, had to report to work in the snow. But he said most residents seemed to be heeding the warning to stay off the roads.

“People are staying home,” the governor said at a snow briefing Thursday morning. “Some of the companies in the Hartford area actually called their workdays off earlier than we did. I see that most of the colleges and universities are now responding so I think it’s going to be a light day for most folks.”

The state Department of Transportation had hundreds of trucks plowing highways. But with each run taking two to three hours to complete, the challenge was keeping the roads clear as snow quickly accumulated behind the trucks.

“The conditions are poor, no question about it,” DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick said Thursday afternoon. “Mother Nature has the upper hand when the snow is coming down at 2 to 3 inches an hour. Anyone that is out there traveling is going to encounter a pretty significant amount of accumulation on the roads.”

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