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There is little doubt that Cleveland-area roads are less safe this winter than last. Not only have we had trickier conditions, the salt supply has been dangerously low.

The salt provider that 44 Ohio counties and ODOT turned to this year is the Morton Salt company. For the second time in as many weeks they've apologized for falling thousands of tons short on salt deliveries.

Cities like Shaker Heights, Lakewood and Woodmere have gotten desperately close to having zero salt on hand, putting drivers at risk.

Channel 3 News has learned that when some of those cities have called Morton Salt, their calls have gone unanswered.

"We needed to go through a state representative to get them on the line to let them know we need salt," said Woodmere Mayor Charles E. Smith. "My service department representative said they weren't even answering calls. As a result, we can't keep our streets safe."

Cities unable to secure fresh salt -- or even Morton sales representatives -- have taken to sharing resources.

"Today Orange and Pepper Pike and Moreland Hills helped us by sharing some salt, so we didn't have a completely depleted supply," Smith said.

This is the first year Cargill isn't providing salt to Ohio's communities.

"We had a great relationship with Cargill," Smith said. "We may need to rethink this relationship (with Morton) in the future."

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