Road salt supply low, demand high as winter looms

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Road salt supply low, demand high as winter looms
A bulldozer climbs a large pile of road salt at Independence Excavating's storage yard in Cleveland Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 4 - Pyramids of road salt seen at the Cargill salt lot from Cherry Street bridge, July 4, 2014. The city has already begun stockpiling mountains of salt to use on icy winter roads, after January's sodium chloride shortage. (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
In a this Sept. 16, 2014 photo salt is unloaded at the Scio Township, Mich. maintenance yard. The rewards for surviving last year's punishing winter are tight supplies of road salt and some drastic price spikes for the commodity across much of the U.S. as the next cold season approaches. Some Midwest county road officials are facing price increases that are twice or more _ even five times _ what they paid last year if they can get it. Increases of at least 20 percent have been common in cities including Boston and Raleigh, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
In a this Sept. 16, 2014 photo salt is unloaded at the Scio Township, Mich. maintenance yard. The rewards for surviving last year's punishing winter are tight supplies of road salt and some drastic price spikes for the commodity across much of the U.S. as the next cold season approaches. Some Midwest county road officials are facing price increases that are twice or more _ even five times _ what they paid last year if they can get it. Increases of at least 20 percent have been common in cities including Boston and Raleigh, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
In a this Sept. 16, 2014 photo salt is unloaded at the Scio Township, Mich. maintenance yard. The rewards for surviving last year's punishing winter are tight supplies of road salt and some drastic price spikes for the commodity across much of the U.S. as the next cold season approaches. Some Midwest county road officials are facing price increases that are twice or more _ even five times _ what they paid last year if they can get it. Increases of at least 20 percent have been common in cities including Boston and Raleigh, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
A truck carrying salt and slag moves slowly down a snow covered road as a winter storm moves into the area in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
A truck carrying salt and slag drives along a near empty road as a winter storm moves into the area in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Two Atlanta city trucks shovel snow and dump a salt-gravel mix on roads in front of the Capitol Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. An ice storm knocked out power to a large swath of the South, as Atlanta saw its second bout of snow in just over two weeks. (AP Photo/Christina A. Cassidy)
An Alabama Department of Transportation truck spreads road salt along Interstate 65 in preparation of ice and snow on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
The Algosteel unloads it's cargo of road salt at the Port of Milwaukee Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. The ship is the first of two expected to bring 50,000 tons of salt for street use as supplies in many cities run low well ahead of time in this seemingly endless winter. (AP Photo/Carrie Antflinger)
A plow clears Douglas County Road 1029 near Lecompton, Kan., Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. Hundreds of snow plows and salt spreaders are hitting roads and highways across the nation's heartland, preparing for a winter storm that could dump up to a foot of snow in some areas and bring dangerous freezing rain and sleet to others. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Sanitation workers use tractors to pile up salt at a depot, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 in New York. A storm poised to dump up to 3-feet of snow from New York City to Boston and beyond beginning Friday could be one for the record books, forecasters warned, as residents scurried to stock up on food and water and road crews readied salt and sand. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Oakland County road crews load road salt in preparation for a winter storm in Southfield, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
As a large winter storm approaches the nation's capital, a District of Columbia plow truck, carrying road salt, drives through falling snow on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Ein Schaufellader der Autobahnmeisterei in Ludwigsburg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, nimmt am Donnerstag, 7. Januar 2010, Streusalz aus einer Lagerhalle auf. Die Winterdienste bereiten sich derzeit intensiv auf die fuer das Wochenende angesagten kraeftigen Schneefaelle vor. (AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle)--------A shovel loader of the road maintenance authority loads road salt in Ludwigsburg, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010. The weather forecast announces heavy snowfalls in Germany for the upcoming weekend. (AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle)
A worker shovels road salt at a highway station near Duesseldorf, western Germany, on Tuesday Jan 5, 2010. Some cities in Germany report that the road salt inventory is very short due to the constant winter with subzero temperatures. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Goderich, Canada - July 17 - Plant manager Dan Loebach holds some ice salt in his hand. The largest operating salt mine in the world is in Goderich, Ontario and is run under the name Sifto with the parent company Compass Minerals. The mine runs the depth of the CN tower under Lake Huron and goes into the lake for 9kms or so and provides table, agricultural and road salt. They also have a nearby processing plant to refine the mineral. July 17, 2014 (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
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By JEFF KAROUB

DETROIT (AP) - The rewards for surviving last winter's punishing weather are tight supplies and drastic price increases for road salt across much of the U.S.

Local officials in several Midwestern states are facing prices that are twice what they were last season. In some cases, the price is five times as much.

And that's only if they can get road salt.

Replenishing stockpiles is proving to be a challenge nationwide after so much salt was used last winter, when supplies were diminished by frigid weather and record snowfall.

From Boston to Raleigh, North Carolina, many cities are increasing their stocks by at least 20 percent.

But some local governments are avoiding the problem, thanks to previous contracts or secured bids, or simply being close to salt sources.

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