By Heather Abraham

WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) – The unrelenting winter weather has led to emergency declarations.

A lack of salt to treat the roads caused officials to restrict travel and reduce the speed limit in at least two local communities.

However, around 8 a.m., a crucial supply of anti-skid material arrived at Hempfield Township. It will be mixed in with the current salt they have along with a small shipment of salt expected from PennDOT. But it’s not much.

“PennDOT has agreed to lend some of the municipalities some salt,” XXX said. “We were allocated 100 ton. We have some anti-skid, so we’ll be using a 50-50 mix to get us through the crisis.”

The company that supplies rock salt to so many municipalities has not provided the shipments needed.

“We can not get the material,” Public Works Director Mike Volpe said. “It’s not a budget issue or anything. We just can not get any salt.”

So everyone is now conserving and Hempfield, Unity and South Greensburg have even issued a disaster emergency declaration, hoping to keep people off the roads because of potentially unsafe conditions – with even more snow expected this weekend. And this may become the norm.

“For the balance of the winter season,” Volpe said, “I don’t think you’re going to see the roads bare and wet. We’re going to have to be conservative as to not run the risk of being completely out of salt.”

If it’s frustrating for you, it’s equally, if not more upsetting for the municipalities.

“Do not call and complain to us,” Volpe said. “It’s beyond our control of getting salt.”

“We have over 2,500 tons on order,” Volpe added. “They are giving us no delivery dates or when the next shipment of salt will be coming in.”

Disaster emergency declarations were in place until 10 a.m. Saturday for Hempfield and South Greensburg. However, due to improving conditions and the new supplies coming in, Hempfield says its declaration will expire today at 2 p.m.

Dwindling Salt Supplies Prompt Emergency Declarations In 2 Communities
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