Council stockpile on salt as winter chill hits

Longford County Council is to bring its retention of rock salt to full capacity over the next number of days as the county gets set for another perennially chilly cold snap.

Longford County Council is to bring its retention of rock salt to full capacity over the next number of days as the county gets set for another perennially chilly cold snap.

In keeping with the practices of other local authorities up and down the country, infrastructure officials revealed plans to stockpile almost 750 tonnes of salt at repositories and storage areas across the county.

“Longford County Council have a total salt storage capacity of 740 tonnes in depots around the county,” the statement outlined. “There is currently 440 tonnes of salt in the depots and a further 300 tonnes on order for delivery.”

The council said supplies would also be maintained by making further orders through the National Salt Management System.

It’s hoped the move will allay any fears of a return to the problems witnessed in 2010 when the country was gripped by a sustained and prolonged winter period.

On that occasion, 110,000 tonnes were used and despite main routes remaining open, some people living in rural areas were forced to leave their cars at home due to a shortage of salt, especially on less-trafficked roads.

Well known for its costly nature, salt charges average around €30 per tonne, meaning Longford County Council’s present bill for treating roads could exceed €22,000.

Should wintry conditions persist and salt supplies in turn deteriorate, that figure is likely to rise at a time when finance officers are struggling to deal with ongoing cutbacks from central government.

The first winter snow, meanwhile, arrived over the weekend with high ground in both Donegal and Sligo encontering bouts of the white stuff.

Closer to home, conditions are expected to stay chilly as frost and fog patches take hold at night. Daytime temperatures, equally, are likely to be cool and crisp, averaging from anywhere between eight and 11 degrees celsius.