Saginaw-area stores struggle to keep sidewalk salt in stock

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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (2/11/2019) - With another winter storming bearing down on Mid-Michigan, residents are rushing out to stock up on sidewalk salt and other essentials.

But finding salt for home use around the Saginaw area is tricky this time.

Emmett Bengry of Zilwaukee had to do some serious shopping to find a bag of salt to melt ice off his driveway and sidewalk at home. He called ahead to Lowe's, Home Depot and other hardware stores without much success.

"You can go every place you want to look, whether it's online or on the telephone, you are not going to find it except for Lowe's right here in Saginaw County," Bengry said.

Lowe's received a shipment on Sunday, promptly sold that out and then got several hundred more bags on Monday. Rozina Murphy's husband called around until he found out Lowe's had some and sent her out to pick up a bag.

"He had to work, so he sent me out," she said. "He said, 'Honey could you go out and get some salt.'"

Lowe's Store Manager Ryan Randall said the store saw a steady flow of customers buy Monday's shipment of salt before the supply ran out during the afternoon. He said the shortage isn't just limited to Saginaw.

"Demand is very high so the manufacturers are having trouble keeping up right now," Randall said.

Wohlfeil's in Saginaw Township ran out of salt days ago, leaving the owner surprised by how fast it flew off the shelves.

"It was amazing. The day of the storm, we had a truck come in Wednesday morning. We sold the whole complete truck before 3 p.m.," Scott Wohlfiel said. "That was 18 pallets of salt."

He is expecting a shipment of ice melter on Thursday. Stores are also having a run on salt for water softeners, which also melts ice.

Murphy feels lucky she got to Lowe's in time.

"It's like gold, yes it is," she said.

Shoppers looking for a bag of salt are advised to call ahead before heading out.