November 2, 2011 Warren, VT – Two months after the floodwaters from Tropical Storm Irene damaged the snowmaking pond at Sugarbush Resort, the pond is repaired and ready for winter operations. Sugarbush spent roughly $800,000 on the repair and rebuild effort
The storm waters breached the south wall on the intake side of the pond and deposited debris into the pond, which acted as a sediment basin for debris carried down river during the flood. The breached south wall has since been rebuilt with increased strength. Other repairs included reinstalling a line of electrical wires and poles that were felled during the storm.
Mike Wing, Sugarbush’s Golf Superintendent and Snow Surfaces Manager, oversaw the project at the snowmaking pond with work contracted to GW Tatro of Jeffersonville, VT. Debris removed from the pond consisted mostly of topsoil and smaller amounts of gravel. Some 80,000 cubic yards of material were excavated from the pond, which is nearly double the original estimate.
Samples of soil removed from the snowmaking pond were sent to the University of Vermont Agricultural & Environmental Testing Laboratory for analysis. The soil sample results report normal levels of micronutrients, metals and low organic matter. “The soil is fit for agricultural use and it is our intention to offer this soil to area farms whose fertile land was eroded by the storm,” said Wing.
“Sugarbush and its partners worked extremely hard to repair, rebuild and return the snowmaking pond to normal operation.” said Win Smith, President of the resort. “Although it was an unfortunate event, we are happy it will not have an adverse effect on our snowmaking capacities this season.”
Sugarbush Resort plans to open for the ski season on Saturday, November 19, weather and conditions permitting. This year the resort has invested $1.5 million in new snowmaking technologies and grooming equipment. The resort plans to begin snowmaking at Lincoln Peak as soon as temperatures permit.