Katie Couric's Notebook: Short On Salt?

A shortage of road salt could give us a bitter taste of what could come this winter. You can first blame hurricanes Ike and Gustav. They stopped barge traffic on the Mississippi this summer, delaying salt deliveries.

Another culprit: Last winter. Parts of the Midwest and the Northeast were blitzed with more snow than usual, depleting salt supplies.

When it came time to reorder, manufacturers didn't have enough. And what salt there is, now cost triple what it did a year ago. That's more than what some cities and towns can afford. So some roads may not get salted as much, or they won't be cleared down to their surface.

Dick Haneman, head of the salt industry's trade group, recently told USA Today, it's going to be an "interesting winter."

When you're on the road in a snowstorm, you want your drive to be anything but interesting – or salt-free.