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DPW crews in Lackawanna County prepare for winter season

Municipalities report salt surpluses but, finding truck parts has been tough.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — In Scranton, there's a surplus of salt.

"Pretty much enough to handle two pretty good size storms," DPW director Tom Preambo said while looking at the stockpile on West Poplar Street.

There are about 750 tons of salt, and Scranton used up more than 7,000 tons last winter.

The city's supply of salt is not a concern this winter. Still, the impending season is always on Preambo's mind.

"Pretty much constantly this time of the year. We prepare for our winter storm attacks throughout the summer and really heighten that activity up early fall. So, we're well prepared right now. We have our equipment, our attachments, our spreaders are ready on the trucks," he said.

Scranton is a bit short on drivers. Officials are interviewing for several open positions, but the biggest concern among road crews across Lackawanna County is the supply of truck parts. 

"The supply chain shortages are a concern of mine. Right now, as simple as it may sound, we're having trouble getting lug nuts. So, that's pretty serious. If you can't get lug nuts for some of your equipment, then that equipment stays down because that's a serious matter," Preambo added.

Many of those winter concerns like salt supply, truck parts, and plow drivers are bigger concerns in smaller municipalities.

In Mayfield, there are only two plows to choose from and only one driver.

Paul Natishak runs and is the borough's DPW. He's done all he can to prepare, including stocking up on salt.

"It's three-quarters of the way filled, but our salt shed's not that big either. We can only fit two truckloads in at a time. So, that's a problem when we get a lot of snow in a week," Natishak said.

Because at the end of the day, you can only prepare so much. We're all at the mercy of Mother Nature. 

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