Salt supply a growing concern in Waukesha as residents dig out from snowstorm — again

WAUKESHA -- Another snow day for the Waukesha School District took place on Tuesday, Feb. 12, marking the fifth day this school year where kids get to stay home. The school district is still trying to figure out how to make up this day later in the year. Meantime, all eyes are on the road as concern begins to grow about a dwindling municipal salt supply.

Michael Heger was off to a late start Tuesday morning, with what seemed like white walls closing in around him.

"I heard the sound of a shovel and the snowblower. It woke me up and got me right outside," said Heger. "Anywhere it can go, just throwing it on this pile!"

Heger, and many others in Waukesha, found themselves once again digging out.

Rick Gillis

"Well this morning was a little challenging for us due to the winds and how hard it snowed," said Waukesha County Highway Supervisor, Rick Gillis.

Rick Gillis is the Waukesha County Highway Supervisors. Crews there hit the road at 3 a.m. A total of 53 trucks will remain on the road until 7 p.m. Tuesday night, with so many storms back to back.

"We were talking just this morning about possibly mixing in a little bit of sand with our loads," said Gillis.

Gillis says dwindling salt supplies are a concern but not yet a problem.

"We always want to plan like it's going to snow all the way to March 31, and who knows maybe May," said Gillis.

Don't tell that to Judy Ross, who lives along one of Waukesha's steepest streets. At 4th and Madison, she's ready to throw down the shovel for the rest of the season.

Judy Ross

"It's not funny anymore," Ross said. "Like my father always used to say: I can remember that curly-haired little girl that loved the snow. Well, I said she grew up. She grew up and she doesn't want to do this anymore."

In between snow storms, the highway department will be dealing with another winter-weather menace: potholes. Crews will be out filling them in Waukesha over the next few days, if weather permits.

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