Excellent Progress made in repairing Sugarbush Snowmaking Pond

09/06/2011

Warren, VT (September 7, 2011)--A week after Tropical Storm Irene caused major 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 northern embankment remained intact and retained all of the pre-flood water in the pond. Because the impoundment remained intact, there was no release of the water stored in the pond prior to the storm. The high floodwaters eroded the riverbank 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. Although there was erosion of the river bank between the river and the south end of the pond, there was no dam failure and no impounded water was released. Following ANR emergency repair guidelines, Sugarbush has been in close consultation with State officials and was able to restore the Mad River to its original course by Thursday, September 1st. This flood was of epic proportions, and produced water levels rivaling the flood of 1927. Peak river flow at the Moretown gauging station was nineteen feet above normal river levels, and about 50% higher than the peak flow during the flood of 1998. Remarkably, the Sugarbush snowmaking pond sustained less damage than during the 1998 event. In 1998 there was significant damage to the pond spillway; however, the spillway structure that was redesigned and rebuilt in 1998 maintained its integrity during Irene. Now, the task will be to de-water the pond, and 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 regulatory agencies including the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, 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.'

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Sugarbush was rated by OnTheSnow.com as having their 'Favorite Downhill Terrain In the East' (2011), by Ski Magazine readers as being #1 in Terrain Variety in the East (2010), and by Outside Magazine as being the 'Best Ski Town in the East' (2010). For a complete list of season pass options, or for more information on Sugarbush, please visit www.sugarbush.com or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Sugarbush.VT.