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Area Stores Running Out of Rock Salt Ahead of Next Snowstorm

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- With plenty of winter storms already under our belts and another one on the way Wednesday night (see related story), rock salt and other snow-melting chemicals are very hard to find anywhere in the Delaware Valley.

At one store they've been answering the phone, "This is the Home Depot in South Philadelphia and we're out of rock salt, how can I help you?"

At the area's largest-volume Home Depot store, on Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia, a fresh shipment of ice-melt was unloaded from a 52-foot tractor-trailer, but it didn't last long.

"Each pallet has 50 bags, with 50-pound bags on it," noted assistant manager Mary Devine, who said it took about an hour to sell out the shipment.

Like many customers, Rich was only batting .500 -- he got a snow shovel but no rock salt.

"Right now there's plenty of demand, and no supply," he lamented.

Home Depot co-manager Joe Raggio says he's been in constant phone and e-mail contact with their company command center, hoping to get more shipments in before the close of business on Wednesday and before the next storm blows in with yet more snow.

"It seems like we're getting snow at least once a week," he noted.

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