Road salt is stressing state and municipal budgets as shortages drive prices up well past what local governments have paid in the past, USA Today reports. A harsh winter last year left many states with no salt reserves to carry over, meaning they have to fully restock at inflated prices. New Hampshire is paying $10 million for salt that cost $8 million last year.
In Ohio, where some reports put the price of salt at $150 a ton—triple the usual cost of around $50 a ton—Gov. Ted Strickland has launched an investigation. "People are freaking out about it because you don't want to run out," says the president of a salt vendors’ association. "It's going to be an interesting winter."