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Viewfinder: Steaming Mulch Mountain in the UConn Parking Lot

A close-up look at what's happening to all the downed trees and limbs being collected in the wake of the freak October 29 snowstorm.

 

It's been three weeks since a freak October snowstorm left West Hartford and other communities throughout the state littered with downed trees and limbs on virtually every street.

West Hartford's debris pick-up, which is being conducted by FEMA contractor AshBritt, is still underway. Many have stopped by to witness the ever-growing mulch mountain in the UConn parking lot on Trout Brook Drive, to catch a once-in-a-lifetime (we all hope) glimpse of the process of cleaning up what will ultimately be 300,000 cubic yards of debris.

It's a remarkable sight, both for wide-eyed toddlers experiencing their "monster trucks" coming to life, as well as for adults who have never imagined a clean-up process of such magnitude.

As the mulch reacts with the environment, the pile releases steam which is clearly visible throughout the day, but particularly noticable at sunrise and sunset.

Connie Curcio Reder November 21, 2011 at 12:36 PM
Does anyone know the ultimate destination of the wood chips?
Edward F. Bader November 21, 2011 at 02:50 PM
The operator of the grappling machine is not wearing a hard hat under his hood. Wearing hard hats on an open machine is basic safety. And he is an employee of a FEMA contractor.
Keith Griffin November 21, 2011 at 06:37 PM
You'd be surprised how many OSHA violations come about because of newspaper (and now online) photos. Volunteer fire departments, for example, are always getting caught doing unsafe things. This guy might get nailed now, too, if OSHA hasn't already stopped by.
Dianne Rechel November 22, 2011 at 11:29 PM
They are still negotiating on many acres of open space.

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