By Gretchen Richards
Parkersburg News and Sentinel
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – The de-icing and salt shortage plaguing the eastern seaboard has struck the Mid-Ohio Valley.
With the chances of more wintry weather in the near future, residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley find themselves asking the same question: Where is all of the salt?
Shop owners and managers have found themselves facing the question of the lack of salt for home use repeatedly over the past few weeks, and can do little to answer their customers’ questions.
As one store owner put it: “We are simply out of salt. I couldn’t get more in if I had to, because I just don’t know where to get it. All of my suppliers are out, and until they get more, I won’t have more, either,” said Kim Bayes, owner of Matamoras Hardware and Feed.
Matamoras Hardware and Feed began the winter with 88 bags of salt, which is usually enough to last throughout the winter with some leftovers, Bayes said.
“This is a bad winter as far as using salt is concerned,” Bayes said. “With all of this weather, we ran completely out. People keep calling and asking if we have any, but we just don’t,” she said.
The story is the same at stores across the Mid-Ohio Valley: out of salt with no more arriving anytime soon.
“This winter really has been a lot more difficult than previous ones have been,” said John Brammer, paint sales associate at True Value Hardware in Marietta. “In the past, if we ran out of salt, we could always just re-order it. But right now, the whole East Coast is out.”
Almost every shop has more salt and de-icing materials on order, but without knowing when those orders will be filled, area residents are faced with having to make what they have last longer.
When a store does manage to get a shipment of salt in, only partial orders arrive, managers report. And even these are going fast, according to reports.
“Last week, 20 bags came in,” said Brammer. “And we were sold out again within the hour…”