Repeated winter storms create Essex County salt shortage

The director of the Newark Department of Public Works says Wednesday's storm was the 10th of the season that required the use of salt on the streets and bridges. (2/5/14)

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ESSEX COUNTY - The director of the Newark Department of Public Works says Wednesday's storm was the 10th of the season that required the use of salt on streets and bridges.

That equates to 18 tons of salt so far, leaving the city with 2 tons.

The same goes for a lot of smaller towns in Essex County and around the state. 

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The Essex County Executive Joe Divincenzo says the county has been sharing salt with several towns that are running low, including Montclair, Fairfield, Bloomfield, South Orange, Maplewood and Roseland.

"We have 22 municipalities," says Divincenzo. "Probably 10 or 11 ran out of salt." 

Newark Department of Public Works spokesperson Amos Crudup says salt has become a commodity. "The salt is coming into the port…We're putting 10 tons down at a time," he says.

In Bloomfield, residents say the town has been informing residents of the shortage by phone. 

"We have no salt, no calcium, and we can't get any,” said Anthony Makarow, of Riccardi Brothers. “Everybody is totally out.” 

Officials are concerned what will happen when the next big storm hits.

The city of Newark has 6 tons of salt on order, and the DPW is expecting a ton to arrive Thursday night.

Divincenzo says despite the high demand, the county will replenish its supplies.

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