According to many reports, mud season this year is the worst it's been in many years. The Harwood Unified Union School District has shut down bus transportation on many roads from Warren to Waterbury and Claire Ewald's towing and AAA service was extremely busy from Friday evening, March 18, through Sunday, March 20, she said.
"My guy on call was busting his ass, he put in 30 hours between 6 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Sunday," Ewald said, noting that the log books showed him pulling cars from the mud in every town in The Valley.
"AAA told me this weekend was worse than the last snowstorm," she added.
Mad River Valley Ambulance Service president Dave Schantz said he was confident in the experience and resourcefulness of his rescue members and volunteers.
"We have many resources here in The Valley depending on the situation at hand. The roads lately could pose a real problem and we might look to our town road crews for assistance. As an example of resourcefulness, at a water rescue several days ago we quickly procured a boat to cross the swollen river and get to our patient.
Our rescue members have many years of experience responding to all kinds of emergencies in The Valley and I have all the confidence in the world that we will continue to get responders to patients or our patients to responders depending on the emergency at hand," Schantz said.
Warren fire chief Jeff Campbell was also optimistic that firefighters could get where they needed to go.
"There are some roads that are bad, real bad, but we think that we can get at least one of our smaller trucks to those roads. The biggest thing people can do to help all emergency services and road departments is not just abandon their cars when they are stuck. They need to call a wrecker. If it's there for an extended period of time the town is towing the vehicle at the owner's expense.
Waitsfield fire chief Tripp Johnson said mud season this year and most years, definitely poses a challenge for firefighters. The Waitsfield-Fayston Fire Department has some utility vans that are 4WD but the bigger trucks and water tankers are 2WD.
"We rely heavily on the road crews for their help in getting equipment in place, and during mud season we carry 2,000 feet of large diameter hoses and an equal amount of small hoses, "he said.