HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — After a storm that buried parts of Connecticut in up to 14 inches of snow, cities and towns running low on road salt learned Friday they can get some of the hot commodity from the state, just in time for the next winter blast.
The series of storms this winter that has pummeled the South and Northeast has created a shortage of available rock salt for cities and towns throughout the region.
And as Connecticut braced itself for another storm Saturday that could bring several more inches of snow, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced a plan to keep cities and towns in salt and roads and highways safe.
‘‘We can be of assistance and plan on being of assistance,’’ he said.
As of midday Friday, 22 municipalities had informed the state Department of Transportation they needed help acquiring more salt. The list, which could grow, included municipalities that obtain salt under the state’s contract with the supplier International Salt, as well as those who get salt on their own.
To meet the demand, Malloy said, the DOT would make some of its next deliveries of road salt available to local communities. The department was expecting a delivery of 30,000 tons of salt Friday and another 45,000 tons on Feb. 22.
Malloy said the state actually has a ‘‘little more in the bin than we thought’’ for state use after estimating Thursday only enough in reserve to handle one storm. DOT Commissioner James Redeker said the state has about 25,000 to 30,000 tons on hand and typically uses about 15,000 to 20,000 tons per storm.
Starting on Friday, the governor said, the 88 cities and towns that acquire salt under the state’s contract would be able to get enough to handle the next storm. Municipalities that don’t rely on the state’s contract also can load up on surplus DOT salt at one of six sites around the state, he said.
Warmer afternoon temperatures and sunshine Friday were helping to melt some of the ice that lingered in many places. Schools were closed for a second day, including Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury. And Metro-North reduced its services to a Saturday schedule.
Many flights also were canceled. Bradley International Airport, about 15 miles north of Hartford, reported nearly 30 cancellations.
Malloy encouraged communities to contact the state if they needed salt. They will have to reimburse the state for the material, however. The department has already spent all $30 million of its snow removal budget on the dozen storms that have hit Connecticut this season.
The state stopped using sand about eight years ago because of environmental concerns and the high cost of cleanup. It currently uses rock salt and a pretreatment of magnesium chloride.
Thursday’s snow changed to sleet and freezing rain during the night, then changed back to snow early Friday morning. Fairfield County saw some of the highest snowfall totals, including 14 inches in Fairfield, the National Weather Service said. Parts of northwestern Connecticut got nearly a foot of snow and the Hartford area received up to 10 inches.