SALT OR NO SALT: Greenville Explains Snow Plowing Strategy

The picture of why Greenville officials chose not to plow snow and ice-covered roads immediately after the storm is becoming clearer.

Greenville Public Works Director Kevin Mulligan told Lynnette Taylor on Thursday that the city had very little salt, not enough to cover all of Greenville's roads. The trucks on the road had salt, but the salt storage shed was empty.

A few hours after Mulligan said the salt supply was very low, Greenville was able to get ten more tons of salt from the Pitt County DOT. Earlier, the DOT had indicated they had no salt to spare, having used 200 tons of salt during last week's storm. However, the Pitt County DOT was able to share some salt after trucks from the state arrived to help plow, which came equipped with their own supply of salt.

Mulligan says the city normally doesn't stockpile salt, because they normally don't need that much of it. As this winter storm approached, and snow was the only element in the forecast for Greenville, Mulligan says the city was ready to plow. Then, a half-inch of ice accumulated on the roads before the snow started late Tuesday night. City officials knew if they plowed the snow off the roads, they would be leaving that layer of ice on the roads, because they didn't have enough salt.

Friday, Mulligan says they're still salting interior roads. The weather will also be a big assistant, with temperatures warming into the 40s and plenty of sunshine.

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Greenville does have salt to help remove snow and ice from the city's roads, according to Mayor Allen Thomas.

Thomas says the city had ten tons of salt on hand Thursday evening for the night shift. Earlier in Thursday, Public Works Director Kevin Mulligan told WITN the city had run out of salt and was waiting on a delivery from Wilmington.

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Greenville says it has run out of salt, which may explain why many major streets remain snow covered.

Public Works Director Kevin Mulligan says they are waiting for more salt to arrive from Wilmington. In the meantime, the city's three snow plows have started to scrape some major streets, hoping that the warmer temperature and sunshine will melt the layer of ice that's underneath the snow.

The city usually can borrow salt from the North Carolina DOT, but even they are on low supply and can't give any away.

Ironically, the city knew they needed more plows, and ordered three dump trucks that could be outfitted. Unfortunately, they won't arrive here until May.

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Greenville public works crews are trying to get a handle on streets, a day after 4-1/2 inches of snow was dumped on Greenville.

Thursday morning many major roads in the city remained snow covered, leaving some residents wondering why they had not been treated.

"We have not cleared Arlington yet because there is a layer, a sheet of ice under the snow and the real concern is if you give the impression that a road is clear but you have a layer of ice it's just going to increase the probability of some serious accidents," Mayor Allen Thomas told WITN Wednesday morning. We've asked Thomas for an update from city officials this morning, but so far we haven't received one.

We spotted two plows and a spreader leaving the Public Works office on Beatty Street around 10:00 a.m. They soon were clearing Arlington Boulevard, near the hospital.