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Putnam Used Nearly Entire Salt Supply During Last Week’s Storm

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Used Nearly Entire Salt Supply During Last Week’s Storm

Putnam County used at least 800 tons of road salt trying to get roads cleared over the last ten days.

Putnam County Road Supervisor Randy Jones said that in his 14 years in the office, this has been the most challenging snowstorm to manage. He said the low temperatures caused the roads to ice over every night, forcing the county to run through far more salt than usual.

“We’ve had to order more salt because we don’t know what the rest of the winter’s going to bring,” Jones said. “We’ve already used more salt this year, this winter than we have I guess the last two or three winters all put together.”

Jones said the highway department gets salt from Morton Salt, the same company that provides many people with their standard table salt. He said 200 tons arrived the week and another 100 tons are on the way. He said right now, the salt shed is looking pretty empty.

“Usually, we don’t have to replenish our supply during the winter time,” Jones said. “We usually do it in the fall of the year before the season starts.”

He said having salt delivered to Cookeville costs $115 per ton, making it a pretty severe expense to have to nearly double the supply during a single winter. He said delivery trucks bring in some 26 tons at a time, and the department plans to order another 500 tons once the initial 300-ton order is all delivered.

“The weather has helped us a lot in the last couple of days,” Jones said. “It’s melted a lot of the roads where the sun can hit it. There’s still a lot of slick spots out in the shady areas, so still be cautious driving. We still do have several slick roads out in Putnam County.”

Jones said the 200-foot deep 30-foot wide shed colds some 1,200 tons of salt, all used solely for salting roads. He said with what is in the shed now, the county would not be equipped to handle snow and ice like we experienced this past week, so he hopes deliveries continue every three to seven days as scheduled, and the shed gets fully replenished in time for any future winter weather that blows through the county.


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