- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island officials are trying to make the state’s dwindling supply of road salt last into the first week of March, when they’re expecting a new shipment from Chile.

State Department of Transportation Director Michael Lewis says there are 800 tons of salt left at the DOT’s storage facility in East Providence. That’s less than half the normal amount, and there are no backup supplies.

Road salt use has skyrocketed and led to shortages across the Northeast and Midwest after a series of snowstorms. Rhode Island officials applied sand for traction after a storm last weekend to try to conserve salt supplies.

State officials had hoped that a road salt shipment would arrive in Providence this week, but the next one is expected around March 1.