The Saratoga Sun -

By Liz Wood 

Encampment/Riverside: Water problems from above


Liz Wood

The tram towers at the Grand Encampment Museum were covered in snow Monday morning after a spring storm dumped around 19 inches on Encampment and Riverside. Residents were digging out of their homes Monday, as Encampment town employees were clearing roads.

Springtime in Wyoming can create havoc on towns - and Sunday was no exception. In Encampment and Riverside a snowstorm dumped anywhere from 12 inches to 19 inches of snow and left downed trees and snowy roads throughout the two communities.

Just 18 miles north of Encampment, Saratoga only received about two inches of snow, with depths of snow varying between the two ends of the Valley.

By 8 a.m., the roads through Riverside and Encampment had been cleared by Wyoming Department of Transportation, but employees in Encampment were still clearing the 22 roads that make up the town of Encampment.

Encampment town employees Katrina Bergesen and Ben Tieszen had been working since 7 a.m. Monday morning clearing streets. They had worked three hours on Sunday using a skid steer and back hoe. "We have put away the plows for the season," Bergesen said. It wouldn't have done the town any good to bring them out, Bergesen added. "They are too heavy for the dirt roads."

By 2 p.m., Bergesen had finished plowing, but Tieszen was still removing snow from his assigned streets. Bergesen went from removing snow on the streets to clearing snow from the irrigation culverts. Bergesen said this is a difficult time of year when a big snow storm comes because using the big snowplows not only put gouges in the streets, but removes gravel from driveways.

Tieszen said that there will be ruts from vehicles driving on the now muddy roads. "It's a mess. We are trying to finish (the plowing) up, but there is no end in site." The crew had just finished grading the roads to remove the winter ruts. "We will have to do it again," Tieszen said.

"We wish we could have everyone dug out right away, but we can't with this kind of snow," Tieszen said.

Temperatures were reaching 48 degrees by mid-afternoon, which made the task of removing snow from the water laden streets more difficult.

Bergesen said there is nothing that residents can do to make it easier for them to plow, because of the dirt roads. "We just have to deal with it."


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