In the wake of the big weekend snowstorm, people are still talking about the condition of the roads in some communities.
One of these is Bellaire, where officials actually warned residents beforehand that there wasn’t enough salt to keep them safe.
Even now, there’s a thick layer of ice on the surfaces, and no salt on the horizon, at least for a while.
Bellaire is sparingly using the salt they have, which isn’t much.
“We’ve been trying to hit the hills and save it for emergencies,” said Scott Porter, village administrator. “But we don’t have enough for the whole town so the public has to be careful out there. If they don’t have to go anywhere, just kind of sit tight.”
But staying home isn’t an option for many people.
“It’s as bad as I’ve ever seen it,” said Frank Choat of Bellaire. “I don’t understand. It seems like they ought to have done something about this. I’m on my way to work and I can’t even get out of my parking space. I’ve got spikes on my shoes and I fell four times!”
“It’s deplorable,” said Karen Connors of Bellaire. “If it wasn’t for my brother having a four wheel drive, we’d never get off the hill or get back up the hill. My aunt’s 80 years old and if I need a squad for her or something, ten to one I might not be able to get them up here.”
Why the village didn’t pre-order road salt is unclear.
“There’s been some mis-communication through council with myself, council and the mayor,” said Porter. “And we’re just gonna put our big boy pants on and go at it. We’re gonna have to get this figured out. And when the salt gets here, we’ll be out to take care of the roads.”
Bellaire is not alone in their salt-free situation.
“We reached out to other communities,” said Dick Flanagan, interim police chief. “Communities reached out to us. Nobody has salt.”
Bridgeport Mayor Dave Smith says he’s called the supplier continuously, and still hasn’t gotten a timetable for delivery.
And for everyone, the high water has compounded the problem.
“I’ve talked to some other folks in different communities up and down the river, and they’re low on salt also,” said Porter. “We’re all sitting here waiting for the river to go down so the barges can get in and come up and get unloaded. We understand the public’s frustrated, but we are also. We have to answer those phone calls. And there’s no answer until we get some salt in the bins.”
They urge people to use caution, walking and driving, in the meantime.