Salem officials say new tanks mean they won't run out of de-icer - KPTV - FOX 12

Salem officials say new tanks mean they won't run out of de-icer this winter

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

After snow and ice paralyzed much of the Willamette Valley last winter, Salem city leaders are making changes so they don’t run into the same problems.

One of the biggest issues last year: The public works department ran out of de-icer.

Street maintenance supervisor Bruce Hildebrandt said there was plenty of the magnesium-chloride solution available, but with weather issues and busy railways, his crews couldn’t get their hands on it.

“Even though the material was already here in the state of Oregon, we couldn’t access it,” said Hildebrandt.

This year, Salem is stockpiling de-icer thanks to three new and much bigger tanks just delivered this week. The tanks will be installed Thursday and filled with de-icer left over from the end of last snow season. Then, Hildebrandt’s staff will top them off in preparation for the first freeze.

The new tanks mean Salem has 8,000 more gallons of de-icer at its disposal. 

If Hildebrandt learned anything last year, it was, “Increase our capacity so we never run out of de-icer.”

After using salt for the first time last year, ODOT leaders say they will use it again on a nine-mile stretch of Interstate 5 south of Salem.

Unlike de-icer, ODOT does not have facilities to store the salt in Salem or Portland. But officials said salt stored in eastern Oregon and near the California border can quickly be transported by truck to areas that need it. 

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