The following is a story about how Mount Snow staff helped out following Irene, using what I’m calling the “Muck Truck.”
After the flood waters had receded, the basements of dozens of homes and businesses were left with a layer of residual muck that needed to be removed. Many fuel oil tanks had spilled as well, making this muck hazardous and the removal of it more urgent.
Dave Moulton, Mount Snow’s director of mountain operations, came up with the idea to retrofit the resort’s box truck with a pump called a Mud Sucker and 55-gallon drums to store the water and fuel oil mix in. He called the local emergency services to let them know we were available to anyone that called who was in need of help, but no one called. Dave wound up talking to a woman at the Dover emergency meeting who said her fuel oil tank had spilled and she didn’t know how to go about cleaning it up, so he swung by her house and told her a crew would be there in the morning to take care of it. She hesitated and said she wasn’t sure if she could afford to pay for it, but when Dave said it was a volunteer effort and no payment was necessary she broke down into tears.
The following morning, after mucking out a staff member’s basement, the crew from Mount Snow arrived with the retrofitted box truck and began to clean out her basement. They used oil transfer pumps for the fuel oil which was put into the proper receptacles and marked for pickup. After the crew was done there, word spread that Mount Snow had a truck and able bodied folks available to help muck out basements, and that truck was out all day, every day for three straight weeks. It was always attended by at least one Mount Snow plumber and one Mount Snow electrician, but the list of Mount Snow staffers from every department that volunteered their time to help in this effort is a long one. From relatively smaller jobs like the basements of private homes to large endeavors like Crafts Inn and North Star Bowling Alley, the truck and its crew from Mount Snow went from place to place; getting knee deep in who-knows-what, shoulder to shoulder with friends, family, and perfect strangers who were all there to do the same thing - help a fellow Vermonter.
Speaking of North Star, Dave and company arrived there with the muck truck one day to help out and saw that owner Steve Butler had already cut the damaged lanes into large sections to be removed. Since they couldn’t fit any machinery like a skid steer in the building they were trying to figure out how to move the large sections by hand. Just as they were thinking how nice it would be if they had some extra hands, two 15-passenger vans pulled up and about 25 rugged guys stepped out - it was the soccer team from a nearby college that had come to town to help out. With the athletes’ help they were able to remove the alleys and cleanup was able to continue.
David B. Meeker, communications manager, Mount Snow