We’re just getting into fall at this time of year, but winter is on the minds of many as concerns arise over a serious road salt shortage.

There is a significant shortage expected for this season across Ontario and the eastern United States, so companies are doing what they can to get as much of it as possible now.

“We’ve already begun to stockpile,” said Tyler Carr of Carr Excavating.

Carr has approximately 300 to 400 tonnes of salt in supply, but that won’t be enough to last through the winter months.

The concern is so real for Carr that he isn’t taking any new customers.  His business has even been forced to buy salt from Morocco, which isn’t cheap.

“Our costs have gone up about 30 percent to start the year, and they’re anticipated to go up possibly another 30 percent at the end of December,” said Carr.

The snowstorms in the Northern U.S. last year, combined with a lengthy strike by workers at a salt mine in Goderich are mostly to blame for the shortage.

Pat Hester is responsible for clearing places like the hospital and shopping malls.  He has 1,000 tonnes of salt but will need to double that to get through the winter.  “If parking lots are slippery people will fall.  There’s a risk to the property owners, and a risk to the people visiting their properties.”

Officials with the city of Barrie aren’t concerned about the shortage saying the city has enough salt on site to get by. 

Residents will likely have the most trouble finding salt for their driveways and walkways.  If you see some salt bags while running those errands, you might want to stock up now.

There are fears the salt shortage could last as long as three years.