winter weather

As Towns, Cities Prepare for Winter Storm, Busy Morning at Chelsea Salt Pile

Towns and cities are stocking up with salt ahead of the snow storm heading New England's way

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Cities and towns across the region were gearing up for the impending winter storm that's set to hit New England overnight Monday into Tuesday, continuing through much of the day.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency urged anyone commuting in the Bay State on Tuesday morning to "take extra caution and make sure your car is stocked with emergency supplies."

As municipalities made their preparations, it was a busy weekend at the salt pile in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Trucks from across New England have been stopping by to stock up, and they're expected to continue to do so on Monday.

Crews were busy — filling up trucks that would be transporting the salt to various cities and towns, and even some of the state stockpiles – so they’re ready for the storm Tuesday.

Cranes are taking heaps of salt from the massive pile and loading it into the truck beds, which will get spread across the roads across Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The manager at Eastern Salt said that with the mild winter the region has had, the salt piles are larger than they normally would be this time of year, and the nearby overflow yard down is pretty much full.

While that’s generally good news for towns that budgeted for using more salt than they needed this year, it also means some communities weren’t as stocked up as they normally would be, kind of hedging their bets on when the region might start to ease out of winter.

And while there haven’t been many big snow storms this year, there have been more icy days, which require more salt.

Eastern Salt’s manager said New England has also had a lot of smaller storms, and generally if a storm brings under two inches of snow, towns won’t plow and will use salt instead.

February, March and April tend to be big months for potholes as the weather shifts,

“When people think winter’s over, they don’t take as much salt, thinking they don’t want to carry it through the summer, but this year’s been a surprise because we’ve had a lot of stuff late in the year," Eastern Salt Manager Cornelius Martin said. "So now everybody’s on a lower volume basis, inventory basis, so now they’re stocking up.”

The salt piles were expected to be busy throughout Monday morning, as more communities come to get ready for the snow to start overnight.

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