Chipping Away at the Ice in Frackville

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FRACKVILLE -- Pick, scrape and salt. It's the morning routine we're used to: getting rid of that January ice.

Less than two weeks into the new year, some places in Schuylkill County are already digging into their salt piles.

The Frackville Public Works director said so far the borough's salt stash is looking good. He adds that's probably because Frackville uses less salt than communities in some other parts of the state.

Ice melt in the coal region is an interesting recipe, half of which the public works department collects all year long.

"We use a 50/50 mix part salt to part ash and we mix it together and use that to melt everything down," said Don Zimmerman, the public works director in Frackville.

People in Frackville said it's not the roads that are bad when it comes to the ice, it's the sidewalks - which makes it a little tricky walking to your car.

"It's tough because overnight you get that little coating of liquid and it freezes," said John O'Connor of Frackville.

O'Connor is in his 80s. He was outside his home in Schuylkill County picking the ice away with a single scraper.

"Shoveling is easier! With the snow, you just pick it up and throw it on the sidewalk," said O'Connor.

Irene Plaxa said she's been using her coal ashes to melt the ice for years.

"I put ashes down and now I'm sweeping it up. I needed it this morning because it was all icy," said Plaxa.

But, for us who live in northeastern and central PA, we know it's not even close to the end of this icy mess.

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