HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Crews across the area are still cleaning up from the weekend snow and now, more snow is falling. However, the big problem is a salt shortage.

The salt pile in Hempfield Township is much smaller than it should be this time of year.

Public Works crews there like to have about 2,500 tons on hand at all times. Right now, they only have about 600 tons.

That’s why crews are in conservation mode.

Public Works Director Mike Volpe says crews are focusing on hills, intersections and bends.

Hempfield uses about 15,000 tons of salt throughout the winter. Right now, they aren’t sure when their next shipment will arrive.

In the meantime, they are mixing salt with anti-skid and using brine operations to stretch their salt as far as possible.

Volpe says they continue to order salt, but aren’t getting feedback on when the deliveries will arrive.

Hempfield has more roads to maintain than any other municipality in Westmoreland County.

For every inch of snow that falls, crews need about 400 tons of salt to treat the roads.

In conservation mode, that drops to 200.

This weekend alone, crews spread about 1,500 tons.

Volpe says side roads and alleys might not be perfectly clear, but school bus and emergency routes will remain a priority.

Township crews are working long days and that means wear and tear on the equipment too.

They are trying to keep about 30 trucks on the road when there is work to be done.

Volpe is asking residents and drivers to be patient. He says everyone is in the same boat and they are trying to keep the roads safe for everybody.

Hempfield is not the only township conserving salt. The shortage is being felt across the state.


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