DANDRIDGE (WATE) – Road crews from all over East Tennessee have been constantly treating busy highways and streets over the last nine days, and with the continuous efforts, supplies are running low for some road departments.
This winter blast has left Jefferson County’s highway department low on salt supply.
“We’re ready to go again, and if we run out of this, we’ll have to use chat rock by itself without the salt. It’s been terrible at times, yes it has,” said Charles H.Tipton, the county’s road superintendent.
The county’s budget for salt each year is anywhere between $5,000 and $8,000, which adds up to 100 tons of salt.
With another round of snow headed to East Tennessee, Jefferson County is turning to alternative ways to treat the roads.
“We were down to about one fourth of what we keep in our building,” said Tipton.
Just in time for Wednesday night’s storm, road crews received 28 tons of salt from Knox County.
“We do one scoop of it to three scoops of rock,” said Tipton.
To save the amount of salt they receive, the Jefferson County Highway Department mixes the salt with chat, which is a small rock substance that they spread all over the county.
“If the salt doesn’t work, we still got the rocks on the road and that helps keep traction,” said Tipton.
Rick Reese has been living in the county for more than 30 years. He understands that winter storms can cause headaches for everyone in the county. He appreciates the hard work from road crews.
“I think it works real good. It’s nothing on the individual road crews. I think they do a great job with what they’ve got,” said Reese.
Even with the small supply, Tipton promises that his team is doing their best. They have already been preparing roads Wednesday.
“They shouldn’t worry because if we do run out of salt, we’ve still got chat. We’ve got three piles of rock and we can keep them going,” said Tipton.