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Malloy declares state of emergency as salt supplies dwindle

By Johanna Somers

Publication: theday.com

Published February 13. 2014 5:00PM   Updated February 14. 2014 9:19PM

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the state is in the process of declaring a state of emergency because of salt supply shortages.

"We will be asking the White House and FEMA to assist us in locating additional stocks of salt for the purposes of building up our supply beyond a one storm supply," Malloy said Thursday from the State Armory in Hartford. "I will note that we are expecting snow over the weekend."

Malloy said the state received a salt delivery last week but that salt is running out a lot faster than anticipated. This storm, because of its duration, will require at least 25,000 tons of salt instead of 15,000 tons, which is what a normal storm requires, Malloy said.

The state will have a reserve for one storm but suppliers have told the state that additional salt has become difficult to locate.

"This is a regional problem, but the region is much larger than normal because it includes places like South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia," he said.

These states are also closer to the salt suppliers than Connecticut, he added.

Malloy said he wanted municipalities to continue to report their salt shortages so that the state can keep track of the situation. The state's salt request to the White House and FEMA is also going to help municipalities.

"We will do everything we can to be of assistance to municipalities," Malloy said.

The state is projected to get 1 to 4 inches of snow overnight, he said. Hopefully the rapid drop in temperature will not cause a serious accumulation of ice on tree limbs and power lines, he added.

The state's Department of Transportation has had its entire fleet, 632 trucks, on the roads today along with 200 private contractors, he said.

Mass transit will continue to experience delays.

Busses will be off the roads in the next 55 minutes. Although Bradley International Airport is up and running about 70 percent of flights have been canceled, Malloy said.

First responders have received about 800 calls for assistance, there have been 60 accidents and six of those have resulted in injuries.

Non-essential state workers are to report to work one hour later than normal, and the ban on tandem trucks will be lifted in coordination with New York, Malloy said.

"Hopefully we will be able to do that in the not too distant future," he said.

There were fewer accidents in this storm compared to the last one, either because more people heeded warnings or got better at driving in the bad weather conditions, he added.

"The best thing you can do if you really want to be safe is stay home," Malloy said.

Editor's note: This version corrects the amount of salt the state needs to respond to a storm.

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