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Norwalk DPW plodding on, running low on salt

The Norwalk Department of Public Works cleans up a Rowayton street Monday evening.

NORWALK, Conn. – As the snow fell Wednesday morning, Norwalk snow plow drivers were given an order: Use your salt sparingly.

Norwalk is running low on road salt, Norwalk Department of Public Works acting Superintendent of Operations Chris Torre confirmed Wednesday evening. Torre said the unpredictable weather is one of the factors: As of Saturday, rain was predicted, then “all of a sudden” snow was on the schedule, he said.

“We placed an order Jan. 27, it still has not been delivered,” Torre said. “We’re hoping to get it Thursday.”

Salt shortages are in the news. Chicago suburbs are cutting back, CBS reports, and Wisconsin residents will be dealing with a lingering smell as municipalities turn to using salty cheese brine.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state Department of Transportation would transfer 3,500 tons of salt from state stockpiles to New York City and Long Island, CNN reports.

Connecticut is not in dire straights salt-wise, Gov. Dannel Malloy said. More shipments are on the way.

Norwalk has ordered salt from both of its suppliers, Cargill and International Salt Co., Torre said. “Going into Monday, we used 2,700 tons of salt,” Torre said. “We’re not over our budget as of Monday, but we probably will be.”

His crew of snow plow drivers came in at 11 p.m. Tuesday and worked to 9 p.m. Wednesday, he said. That’s after working from 4 a.m. Monday to 2 a.m. Tuesday, then getting back in their trucks at 7 a.m. Tuesday and going home at 3 p.m., he said.

In the past 48 hours, 12 inches of snow has fallen on Norwalk, WeatherStreet.com reports.

“These guys are killing it. They did a fantastic job,” Torre said at 8:40 p.m. Wednesday. “All the schools are done, the roads are done, we’re cleaning up odds and ends.”

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