US

Last year's harsh winter leaves salt supply low, demand high and road officials skittish

  • In a this Sept. 16, 2014 photo salt is unloaded at the Scio Township, Mich. maintenance yard. The rewards for surviving last year's punishing winter are tight supplies of road salt and some drastic price spikes for the commodity across much of the U.S. as the next cold season approaches. Some Midwest county road officials are facing price increases that are twice or more _ even five times _ what they paid last year if they can get it. Increases of at least 20 percent have been common in cities including Boston and Raleigh, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

    In a this Sept. 16, 2014 photo salt is unloaded at the Scio Township, Mich. maintenance yard. The rewards for surviving last year's punishing winter are tight supplies of road salt and some drastic price spikes for the commodity across much of the U.S. as the next cold season approaches. Some Midwest county road officials are facing price increases that are twice or more _ even five times _ what they paid last year if they can get it. Increases of at least 20 percent have been common in cities including Boston and Raleigh, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)  (The Associated Press)

  • In a this Sept. 16, 2014 photo salt is unloaded at the Scio Township, Mich. maintenance yard. The rewards for surviving last year's punishing winter are tight supplies of road salt and some drastic price spikes for the commodity across much of the U.S. as the next cold season approaches. Some Midwest county road officials are facing price increases that are twice or more _ even five times _ what they paid last year if they can get it. Increases of at least 20 percent have been common in cities including Boston and Raleigh, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

    In a this Sept. 16, 2014 photo salt is unloaded at the Scio Township, Mich. maintenance yard. The rewards for surviving last year's punishing winter are tight supplies of road salt and some drastic price spikes for the commodity across much of the U.S. as the next cold season approaches. Some Midwest county road officials are facing price increases that are twice or more _ even five times _ what they paid last year if they can get it. Increases of at least 20 percent have been common in cities including Boston and Raleigh, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)  (The Associated Press)

  • In a this Sept. 16, 2014 photo salt is unloaded at the Scio Township, Mich. maintenance yard. The rewards for surviving last year's punishing winter are tight supplies of road salt and some drastic price spikes for the commodity across much of the U.S. as the next cold season approaches. Some Midwest county road officials are facing price increases that are twice or more _ even five times _ what they paid last year if they can get it. Increases of at least 20 percent have been common in cities including Boston and Raleigh, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

    In a this Sept. 16, 2014 photo salt is unloaded at the Scio Township, Mich. maintenance yard. The rewards for surviving last year's punishing winter are tight supplies of road salt and some drastic price spikes for the commodity across much of the U.S. as the next cold season approaches. Some Midwest county road officials are facing price increases that are twice or more _ even five times _ what they paid last year if they can get it. Increases of at least 20 percent have been common in cities including Boston and Raleigh, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)  (The Associated Press)

The rewards for surviving last winter's punishing weather are tight supplies and drastic price increases for road salt across much of the U.S.

Local officials in several Midwestern states are facing prices that are twice what they were last season. In some cases, the price is five times as much.

And that's only if they can get road salt.

Replenishing stockpiles is proving to be a challenge nationwide after so much salt was used last winter, when supplies were diminished by frigid weather and record snowfall.

From Boston to Raleigh, North Carolina, many cities are increasing their stocks by at least 20 percent.

But some local governments are avoiding the problem, thanks to previous contracts or secured bids, or simply being close to salt sources.