If one more storm strikes New Jersey, there could be no salt left to keep the streets safe. That's the warning from state officials as a much-needed shipment is held up in Maine. Brian Thompson reports.
New Jersey is sending a barge to pick up a load of road salt in Maine after a 1920 maritime law was blocking a crucial shipment to the state, which has depleted its supply.
The state Department of Transportation has just enough salt for one storm, but not a large one.
Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker wrote Tuesday to the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Transportation, asking for a waiver to the law that prevents a foreign vessel from transporting cargo from one U.S. port to another.
That law has been keeping New Jersey from getting tons of salt shipped in.
But Dee tells NBC 4 New York the state is giving up on the waiver, and is sending a barge from Newark.
It will be able to pick up a small supply from Maine and return early next week, state DOT spokesman Joe Dee said. The barge can only carry 9,500 tons, though. New Jersey typically goes through more than 20,000 per storm.
Numerous storms this winter have depleted New Jersey's salt stockpiles. According to Dee, the state had used 373,000 tons of salt through Feb. 11, a figure that doesn't include two storms since then.
--Brian Thompson contributed to this story