With OMG snow levels predicted, Norwalk DPW stockpiles salt

Updated 10:08 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, with additional links

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk is buying as much road salt as it can in advance of a predicted abnormally harsh winter, Department of Public Works Director Hal Alvord said Tuesday.

“There is another shortage predicted for this year,” Alvord said. “… I am going to fill the salt shed up to the rafters.”

Alvord had included the above snow prediction map in the packet for Public Works Committee members, saying it came from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Councilman Jerry Petrini (R-District D) said he had found “quite a few European models” that said the same thing.

“This is what it means for us, basically we’re going to wetter than normal and a lot colder than normal. Just the Northeast. Nice. The Farmer’s Almanac backed it up, too,” Petrini said. (Other news reports based on NOAA predictions have disagreed, suggesting an average or better winter.)

Norwalk is now locked into buying regular salt from the state, Alvord said.

“We’re on the state contract because if we hadn’t been on the state contract last year when the salt ran out we never would have gotten any,” Alvord said. “So we’re playing with the state from now on because anytime somebody runs out of anything they want like asphalt, concrete, salt, anything, the state takes everything and nobody gets anything unless you’re part of the state contract.”

The price is 30 percent higher than last year because of the shortages, he said. Norwalk will pay $73.26 a ton for untreated salt if the full council approves the expenditure next Tuesday. The price last year was around $57 a ton, Alvord said.

That’s through the state contract.

“We may be paying a dollar a ton more for salt but if you’re going to be paying a dollar a ton less it doesn’t make much difference if you can’t get the salt. So I’m going for being able to get the salt when the shortage occurs and everybody says the shortage is going to hit,” Alvord said.

Treated salt will be $87.01 a ton.

Fun fact: Norwalk is expected to buy a specially designed “Norwalk blend” of salt brine. That’s 98 cents a gallon.

“We tried to determine what the right mix should be ourselves and we created ice patches out there in some cases and that kind of stuff so we brought the company in to help us determine the right mix for the nature of our roads, various temperatures and that kind of stuff and what settings we should have. They put together this mix for us,” Alvord said.

Yeah, “Norwalk blend” sounds amusing.

“I am not telling you it wouldn’t work in Darien or Westport or any place else,” Alvord said. “I don’t care if it works anyplace else. It works in Norwalk.”

Alvord said he usually fills the salt shed about 3/4 full but this year he’s packing it in. If the council approves the purchases Tuesday he will call Wednesday morning and order 7,500 tons of salt to add to the 2,500 tons left over from last year, he said.

“Can’t have too much salt,” Councilman Bruce Kimmel (D-At Large) said.

“Not this year,” Alvord said.


7 responses to “With OMG snow levels predicted, Norwalk DPW stockpiles salt”

  1. TomReynolds

    How much does anyone want to bet that it will turn out to be one of the WARMEST winters on record?

  2. Oldtimer

    If that happens, we will have plenty left for next year when the price will probably go up.

  3. EveT

    If you’ve got old salt that’s all hardened, put a piece of bread in the bag/bucket of salt overnight. It will soften and be usable again.

  4. longtimedem

    “Councilman Jerry Petrini (R-District D) said he had found “quite a few European models” that said the same thing.”

    Where’s Roseann Roseanadanna when you need her?

  5. Bruce Kimmel

    The Energy Department, using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adninistration, this week predicted that this winter will be 11% warmer in the Northeast than last winter.

  6. piethein

    Right, so just like the predictions for a horrible Atlantic hurricane season in 2014. The season isnt over yet but we could use a little rain nevertheless. We’ll see, in the meantime enjoy great Fall weather.

  7. Becki Christopherson

    This guy is never wrong – he’s gotten me through the last three winters perfectly! He thinks we have a high chance of being more than 1 degree warmer than average from November to March this winter, and it also it looks like he expects between 20 and 30 inches of snow. That’s not bad…


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