- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - State officials have established Rhode Island’s first strategic salt reserve to prepare for this winter.

The 20,000-ton reserve is in Warwick.

The state also bought 13 new plow trucks to add to its fleet of 115 vehicles. It’s hiring drivers by converting existing unfilled administrative positions within the transportation department to maintenance positions.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said Tuesday that more salt, more plows and more drivers will help keep the roads and residents safe, and protect against national salt shortages.

The transportation department kept about 30,000 tons of salt in its inventory previously, enough for three average storms. It now has 50,000 tons.

The agency says it’s also using new technology so it can fill potholes during the winter for the first time.

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