- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - As another storm bears down on New Hampshire, highway crews are scrambling to restore depleted salt stocks.

State officials have ordered another 21,000 tons of salt to add to the 99,000 tons left in storage.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton said that as of Jan. 31, with 52 percent of its official winter maintenance season over, the state had spent $27.3 million - or 65 percent - of its $42 million winter budget.

“This has been a challenging New Hampshire winter thus far, with a wide range of conditions and numerous storms that have taxed our budgets and winter maintenance operations,” said Boynton. “To make sure that we have this winter covered, we will very likely be tapping into our reserve salt stockpiles for next winter.”

The state has been bedeviled by snow, ice, freezing rain and persistent cold, taxing residents and road crews alike. Starting in mid-December, there have been no fewer than seven storms that caused havoc on the roads.

The latest storm is expected to start just before sunrise Wednesday. The heaviest snow is expected to fall through midday, with 6 to 10 inches expected in the southern part of the state.

Central New Hampshire could get 4 to 8 inches, and the northern part of the state is expecting 2 to 4 inches.

Already Tuesday, some communities were setting up parking bans to allow plows to keep streets clear and Gov. Maggie Hassan postponed Wednesday’s scheduled State of the State address. Some services such as the Newmarket Senior Center and the Gordon-Nash Library in New Hampton were announcing they’d be closed Wednesday.

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