Salt -- a mainstay of winter road maintenance -- will not be hitting Putnam County asphalt during the current winter storm event.
"The county is out of salt," Putnam County Highway Superintendent Dave Sutherlin told the BannerGraphic Thursday afternoon.
"We've got some, but not enough to go through a big event," he said.
The salt shortage has affected counties throughout the state, he said, and the salt supply companies have told him they are saving their product for the state highway department's needs.
"I've called three states to buy salt, and five other counties, and they can't get it now either," Sutherlin said.
On Monday, he said, he ordered five loads, but he has no idea when the salt might arrive.
Sutherlin said he usually buys 1,000 tons of salt to head into the winter season.
"We've used that and more already," he said.
Sutherlin said is he notified the county school districts, factories and Central Dispatch about the salt situation. But he hopes the incoming ice and snow won't last long.
"We won't put anything down. We can't," he said.
At the City of Greencastle's Department of Public Works, Commissioner Paul Wilson said the city has just more than 400 tons of magnesium chloride, or "Clear Lane", on hand as the snow comes, but he also cannot get any more product delivered due to shortages.
"Here a while back we were down to about 300 tons," Wilson said, "and facing a storm, and I had an anxiety attack and ordered 400 ton. Since then we've used about 280 tons, so we have a little more than 400 tons."
In anticipation of Thursday's accumulation, Wilson said his department pre-applied 11-12 tons of Clear Lane on city streets in the afternoon. It is now a waiting game until the snowfall stops.
"Nothing works as we're getting it," Wilson said. "Right now we're just looking for an opportunity to go back out and attack it again."
Wilson said the city's salt barn holds 750 tons of product, and he usually orders it during the off-peak season to save money and be prepared.
He tried to help the county highway department out by calling his supplier, but was unable to get any delivered for either the county or the city.
County residents are urged to be patient and stay off the roads as much as possible.
The National Weather Service has predicted up to two inches of snow accumulation on Friday with less than one inch of ice accumulation.