Another winter storm straining some Butler County salt supplies as more snow looms

Will Lemke, with Sandy's Towing, pulls a car parked along Curryer Road out of the snow Tuesday, February 16, 2021 in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Will Lemke, with Sandy's Towing, pulls a car parked along Curryer Road out of the snow Tuesday, February 16, 2021 in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

As Butler County digs out of another winter storm, attention turns to more snowfall coming later this week.

As of early Tuesday morning, between 4.3 and 6 inches of snowfall was recorded in Butler County, according to the National Weather Service office in Wilmington.

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The recent snowfall forced a number of small businesses, restaurants, and some local governmental offices to close, such as Fairfield Municipal Court Tuesday, but many remained open.

Middletown announced Tuesday morning that Rumpke imposed a one-day delay for trash pickup that will run through Saturday, according to officials.

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Tuesday’s sunshine helping as communities keep an eye on their salt supplies

In Monroe and Fairfield, officials say they say their road salt supply is getting low after multiple days of accumulating snow this month.

“We have used the majority of the salt we had stored,” said Monroe City Manager Bill Brock. “We are working on finding a way to get salt to our barns.”

He said the city has had salt on order for several weeks, but no salt has been delivered as of noon Tuesday.

“We have been concentrating on keeping the main roads and hills clear and have only plowed residential streets,” Brock said. “The sun in helping today.”

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Ben Mann, Fairfield public works director, said they have “about one-third capacity in our salt barn and will not have any limitations for treating the roads for the snow predicted for later this week.”

“If we were to have another week like this one without an additional salt delivery, it would start to become a little worrisome,” he said. “We have a couple salt orders placed the last couple of weeks and are hopeful that we’ll get some of it relatively soon.”

Mann said public works and public utilities staff were driving the snow plows and treating streets.

“West Chester roads look good. There may still be some added cleanup on some residential streets, but all are in good shape,” said Barb Wilson, West Chester’s spokeswoman.

She said West Chester Twp. has plenty of salt reserves and is ready to face more snow this week and in the weeks ahead.

The Butler County Engineer’s Office did not encounter any issues other than drifting snow causing some icy roadways, said spokeswoman Betsy Horton.

“We plowed for eight hours overnight and this morning had room to begin treating the roads again to melt the ice,” she said. “Roads were ‘passable’ this morning, and with the sun and traffic, they are improving. If needed, we may send a partial crew out this evening.”

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“We typically use approximately 400 tons per significant event, said Scott Tadych, Middletown’s public works and utilities director said, “We have a little over 500 tons remaining therefore enough for the next forecasted snowfall.”

Trenton Service Director Rob Liechman said as of Tuesday afternoon, Trenton’s roads are clear and pushed back to the curbs. Liechman said Mother Nature assisted crews Tuesday afternoon by allowing the sun to enable the salt to do its’ job. He said the city has about 300 tons of salt on order and has a sufficient supply in the salt barn.

“We’re running very, very tight right now” with salt supplies, said Hamilton Public Works Director Jim Williams. “Mainly because we’re supporting the Hamilton city schools and Hamilton Parks and Recreation.”

“We had placed an order back on Feb. 2 that was supposed to have been delivered on Monday,” he said. “Everything was on delay because there were a lot of municipalities that didn’t have any salt at all. And so our primary supplier (in Cleves) was backed up, at least 65, 75 dump trucks in line to get salt. And for those that have salt, like the city of Hamilton, they were telling us to hold off and stand by.”

Hamilton is in good shape for the Thursday storm, he said, “But that’s if only we get the 1.8 inches of snow,” he said. “If we get more than 1.8 inches of snow, that could put us in a bind. Unless we get the delivery. If we get the delivery, we’re good.”

More snow coming this week

The Wilmington National Weather Service Office forecast for today in Butler County includes a slight chance of snow between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high temperature of 24 degrees and wind chill values as low as -3 degrees.

The forecast for tonight includes a chance of snow, mainly after 11 p.m. Cloudy skies with a low temperature of around 20 degrees. New snow accumulation of less than one inch is possible.

Thursday’s forecast is snowfall likely after 1 p.m.

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