Entries in State Budgets (1)


Snowstorms Bust Budgets in Northeast

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- With two more months of winter left and another snowstorm hitting the Northeast, some cities and states have exhausted their budgets for snow removal, causing them to turn to cheaper, more creative ways to dispose of the ice.

In Boston, they've built a mountain of displaced snow 50 feet high and four acres wide.

In Fort Lee, New Jersey, they're using a substance some are referring to as "pickle juice," a salt water mixture called brine that, when sprayed onto the pavement before a big storm, prevents snow from sticking.  The brine also makes it easier to push the snow off of covered roads.

In Syracuse, New York, experts are using beet juice mixed with rock salt to offset the icy aftereffects of the storm.  Beet juice has a high freezing point and doesn't stain roads, making it an ideal solution for towns over their snow budgets.

But while saltwater and beet juice help, they can't stop this winter's onslaught, which has dumped more snow in one month than most places get in two winters.

Boston already has spent two-thirds of $16 million allocated for snow and ice removal for the entire winter, while Worcester, Massachusetts ran through its budget for the whole season and went $300,000 beyond.

New York City exhausted the $38 million it budgeted for the season on the mega-storm that hit the day after Christmas -- four storms ago.

Some states are so far in the red that their leaders are asking for relief from the federal government.  Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is asking FEMA for $53 million in federal assistance because of the Christmas snowstorm.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio