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So Far, City Has Spared The Salt This Winter

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A city plow clears a residential street. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A city plow clears a residential street. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — City officials say they have been able to get by with spreading much less salt on streets this winter than last year, thanks to milder temperatures and less snow.

So far this winter, the city has spread 76,000 tons of salt on Chicago streets.

Last December and January that total was nearly double that amount: 144,000 tons.

Chicago Streets and Sanitation spokesman Matt Smith says less salt has been used this winter than the city spread during the entire Blizzard of 2011 a year ago.

But, Smith is not yet ready to claim a sort of victory.

“It’s like trying to hit a moving target,” he said. “You could say we’re doing well and weather-wise we have had better conditions than last year. But this is Chicago, you never know.”

The city says that last year in December and January, the city sent out salt spreaders and plows 17 times. This winter, during that same period, it’s been nine times.

As the city comes up the one-year anniversary of the Blizzard of 2011, Smith said, “in that one storm we used 86,000 tons of salt–more than we’ve used for the past two months combined.”

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