LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- Road salt is so scarce that private contractors and many county and municipal highway departments haven't been able to buy it this year.
North American Salt, one of the country's main suppliers, informed customers in a letter last month it would not have salt to sell them because its inventory was depleted last year and governmental orders were bigger than expected.
Richard Hanneman, president of the trade association's Salt Institute, said the shortage can be blamed on heavy demand last winter coupled with increased orders this year.
Hanneman said bottlenecks in distribution have also hindered the process. While he says there's plenty of salt in the world, it's a problem getting it to the right place at the right time.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)