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Many stores, both large and small, running out of rock salt

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 11 2014 04:32:38 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 11 2014 05:17:05 PM CST

Hunting for rock salt was the unfortunate mission of many across the region Tuesday.

With another winter blast just days away, some Berks County residents are panicking over a widespread rock salt shortage.

"We're striking out," said Will Urkuski, of Mohnton. "It's frustrating."

"I am worried because I want to make sure that everybody's safe and [ice] doesn't build up in front of our house and our neighbor's," said Jennifer McWilliams, of Laureldale.

McWilliams was one of the many who spent Tuesday afternoon on the hunt for rock salt, driving from hardware store to hardware store.

Many local store managers said phones were ringing off the hook.

"We've had calls from Macungie and areas outside of Berks County looking for rock salt and we just can't help them out," said Jennifer Koller, manager at Mountain View Supply and Rentals in Tilden Township.

Koller said the store has been entirely out of rock salt for days. She expected a new supply to come in by Friday, but there was no guarantee.

In Laureldale, Luppold Hardware owner Vince Spease was also unsure of a shipment date.

"They're not even giving time deliveries at this point because they have no idea," said Spease, who ran out last Thursday.

Spease told 69 News that it was the first time in almost 20 years that he faced a rock salt shortage. The store is also currently out of snow shovels.

"Hopefully they'll be back in stock, too," said Spease.

As an alternative, some managers said they were selling water softening salt, solar salt or even pool salt.

Koller said some customers were even purchasing cat litter and barn dry to use on sidewalks.