Iowa Department of Transportation road crews used a lot of salt to battle all the snow and ice storms across the state last month. Dennis Burkheimer is the D.O.T.’s winter operations administrator. "Through the end of December, our preliminary numbers indicate we used a little over 116-thousand tons of salt," Burkheimer said.
In December of 2007, the D.O.T. used 153,000 tons of salt. State records show last month was the fourth snowiest December in Iowa history. Burkheimer says cold temperatures and freezing rain present a bigger problem than snow.
"We usually have a lot of transition in December, the weather patterns are different, so we unfortunately experience a lot of the freezing rain events that require a lot of salt to get the roads back to normal," Burkheimer said.
Many Iowa cities struggled to find adequate supplies of salt for this winter. Burkheimer is hoping Mother Nature will provide a break to help that salt supply and demand equation even out.
"We’re not having any difficulties at this point and time replenishing our salt supplies, but we just need a break in the weather to be able to get our equipment, operators and our salt supplies some rest so we can re-coup all of those for the end of the season," Burkheimer said.
There’s a chance for some flurries in parts of Iowa today . A chance for light freezing rain or snow is possible across northern and central Iowa on Thursday.