NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - Behind barn doors you can find New Albany's new hope for safe roads during the storm expected to be the worst icy blast in an already brutal winter.
"It feels like wet sand, fluffy wet sand," Mickey Thompson, the city's street commissioner said.
The new material is called IMIX, a natural sand treated with sodium chloride. City officials hope it will be an effective filler to be mixed with their remaining salt.
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"The winter wasn't going away and we didn't want to be sitting here with nothing, Thompson explained."
New Albany is running low on salt like many cities across the country. Some states like Connecticut have declared a state of emergency. Snow-heavy Missouri is also counting the grains.
"All the salt we need but not a pound too much," a road official in Missouri said.
Thompson said cities and counties sign contracts with salt suppliers well before winter, making those clients come first while leaving others in the cold.
"They were all saying 'Yes, we know that there's a need for it' but they had commitments," he recalled.
Some suppliers aren't even taking new clients while others are tripling the price.
"I found some in places like Utah, $300 a ton and that was only getting it shipped into Saint Louis," Thompson said.
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