Morgan County facing salt shortage as winter storm approaches
County highway crews loading up for another winter battle. Power companies are hoping to dodge another round of blackouts and families are preparing to be snowed in.
Six to ten inches of snow could fall between Saturday night and Monday morning. There's also the possibility of ice and freezing rain.
"All this snow, and all the weather and all the people going crazy - I'm over it!" said Franklin resident Brandi Tinder. She's not the only one.
In Morgan County, Friday's blue skies and sunshine offered a little calm before the storm - but for road crews it was anything but quiet.
The Morgan County Highway Department says it's over budget and salt supplies are below what they need for the approaching winter storm system. The relentless winter weather has worn away the county's budget and supplies.
Trucks and plows are lined up and ready to go. The problem is a lack of salt. Morgan County has less than half the salt it typically has on hand for a winter storm of this magnitude.
They will spread the salt thinly and mix it with sad.
"I'm done with winter!" said Jimmy Waggoner, Morgan County Highway Department. "The guys are done with winter. They're grouchy. The equipment's done with winter. It's even hard to get parts now because everybody's broke down and it's hard to keep up with supply."
They may be done with winter, but winter is not done with them.
"No, it's not done with us!" Waggoner said, smiling wryly. "But we'll be here!"
State road crews have already pretreated many state highways with ice-preventing brine.
Morgan County Emergency Management has already put its volunteer emergency response team and 4X4 drivers on standby for the weekend. They will assist the fire departments and other first responders.
One major concern in Morgan County is power lines. In another storm earlier this winter, downed lines knocked out power to thousands of residents, some for as long as three days.
"The potential of the ice with the snow is a concern not only for the roadways but power lines as well," said Jeffrey Neal, Morgan County EMA.
That same storm blacked out more than 120,000 IPL and Duke Energy customers.
Duke Energy and IPL are finalizing their plans to handle any outages.