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As ice storm takes its toll on the US, Wisconsin authorities pour cheese on slick roads

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Digital writers
theweathernetwork.com

Friday, December 27, 2013, 6:29 PM -

Canada wasn't the only country hit by the powerful ice storm last weekend. The U.S. is also recovering from massive damage caused by the system to much of the north-eastern region of the country. 

And in Wisconsin, roadways appear to have good traction, thanks to an unusual experiment.

Earlier this month, Milwaukee rolled out a pilot program that uses a cheese brine and traditional salt mix to keep roads from from freezing.

“You want to use provolone or mozzarella,” Jeffrey A. Tews, the fleet operations manager for a public works department told The New York Times

"Those have the best salt content."

In 2012, Milwaukee produced 2.7 billion pounds of cheese and a surplus of waste, or brine.

Officials say that re-purposing the waste is saving counties money -- as much as $40,000 in some places -- and helping to reduce pollution.

CUSTOMERS IN THE DARK IN VERMONT

The state of Vermont is looking into the possibility of receiving federal support from FEMA, after tens of thousands of customers were left in the dark. More than 1,000 were still without power when more snow hit the state on Thursday but officials are hoping to have everyone back online by the weekend. The devastating winter conditions took a toll on the roads and highways as well. Plenty of accidents were reported including one that involved a rolled over state police cruiser in Williston. 

POOR VISIBILITY CREATES TRAVEL HEADACHES

Another state that was hit pretty hard was Maine where more than 100,000 customers had no electricity at the height of the storm and with more snow headed toward the New England region over the weekend, officials don't expect to have outage problem solved until the middle of next week. 

In Massachusetts, a pilot trying to land a small plane missed the runway entirely and ended up touching down in an adjacent grassy area. Officials say that it was poor visibility that led to the potentially dangerous situation, however no one was injured. The pilot and his two passengers (a lady and her dog) walked off the plane without any major harm. The plane, which was flying in from Florida, suffered some damage.

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