A week after Tropical Storm Irene did significant damage throughout Vermont, Sugarbush has already made significant progress in restoring the snowmaking pond located on the Mad River near Kingsbury Farm so that it will be ready for snowmaking in November.
On Sunday, August 28th, the Mad River rose over the southern (upstream) banks of the snowmaking pond filling it with additional water. Fortunately, the integrity of the entire north (downstream) end of the pond, including the engineered spillway at the northwest corner, was maintained throughout the event and while the river flowed over the north edge of the pond, the spillway and embankment remained intact and retained all of the pre-flood water in the pond. The high flood waters eroded the southern banks during the storm, and the Mad River eventually changed course and flowed directly into the snowmaking pond causing the water to remain higher than normal and depositing gravel, silt and other debris into the pond. In close consultation with State officials, Sugarbush was able to restore the Mad River to its original course by Thursday, September 1st. Now, the task will be to de-water the pond, and then remove the accumulated material so that the pond can be refilled to pre-flood depth. At the same time, other repairs to the facility to address flood-related damage are also being made. Sugarbush continues to be in close communication with the Agency of Natural Resources and other Governmental bodies, and is confident that snowmaking operations will not be impaired this winter.
Sugarbush President Win Smith said, “While the damage to our pond is very costly, and significant resources will have to be applied to repair the pond, Sugarbush suffered far less than other businesses and residences in The Valley and around Vermont. For that reason, we feel very fortunate, and are working to help our neighbors in all ways that we can.”
Last week, Sugarbush announced that Win Smith, his wife Lili Ruane, and Sugarbush had donated $100,000 to the Mad River Community Fund to help with individuals and businesses affected by the flood. Sugarbush is also working with members of the community to put together a benefit concert over Columbus Day weekend to raise money for the Community Fund and other relief efforts.