It was the 12th winter storm this season and the road salt shortage prompted Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to declare a state of emergency Thursday evening.
The state has enough salt left to clear its highways and roads through one more storm. The state is down to 15 to 20 tons, which is the necessary amount for one storm.
The salt shortage is a “regional problem” but the region is a lot larger than normal because it includes places like South Carolina and Georgia, which normally don’t deal with these types of winter storms, Malloy said at a 5 p.m. media briefing.
He said the state expects a delivery of salt within the next 24 to 48 hours and it will be distributed to entities that have contractual rights to it. The state is one of those parties.
In the meantime, it’s asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help locating additional stocks of salt to help the state build up its supply beyond one storm.
“We’re going to request from FEMA and the White House any assistance that they can offer,” Malloy said. “Obviously if there’s no salt available, then there’s no salt available.”
He said the situation is getting more “perilous” and local communities are expressing concern about their own salt supplies. He said state emergency management personnel are reaching out to cities and towns to get more information about what their salt supplies look like right now to get an indication of how much they have.
The Department of Transportation has spent about $30 million on 11 storms.
All 632 state snow plows and another 200 contractors were out on the state roads clearing snow most of the day.
While most people heeded the governor’s warning to stay at home if possible, there were 800 calls for assistance and 60 accidents. About six of those 60 accidents involved injuries, according to Malloy.
The National Weather Service said the state would get about 10 to 20 inches of snow and it was expected to keep falling through 7 a.m. Friday morning.
As a result, the governor asked all non-essential state employees to report to work an hour later than they would normally report. He said if they’re not sure what time they need to report then they should call their supervisor.