DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- After salt supplies ran short last winter, Iowa's state and local governments say they're stocking up this fall to avoid misery on highways and city streets.
The Iowa Department of Transportation says it has about 180,000 tons of salt in storage for the state's 9,000 miles of highways. Last year, shortages forced state workers to ration and shift supplies to meet demand.
In Des Moines, the public works department will allow snowplows to use more salt instead of sand, which doesn't melt ice and clogs sewers.
National demand for salt skyrocketed a year ago, and winter didn't disappoint with strong snowfalls in November and December.
Declining demand this year has led to lower prices.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)