RRFW Dozerwire –
Dozer Disappears in Reservoir Sediment
April 1, 2009
Pearce Ferry, AZ
An Acme Construction Company D-9 Caterpillar bulldozer has sunk up to the roof of the cab in soft sediment encountered in construction of a new take-out road for river runners at Pearce Ferry. The dozer operator, Dutch Outamyway, stated she didn’t realize there was a problem until it was almost too late to get out the door. “I sunk really fast” noted Dutch, who has worked for Acme for twenty two years. Outamyway stated she had never seen anything like it in her entire career. Acme had just purchased the 2004 model D-9 for over $500,000.
It is thought unusually heavy rains the last day of March liquefied the sediment Outamyway was driving over.
Meanwhile, a freak April first snow storm, the same storm that sank the Acme dozer, has dumped over ten feet of wet snow in the Rocky Mountains from the San Juans north to the Wind Rivers. An overnight increase to 350% snowpack has Bureau of Reclamation Glen Canyon Dam operators stocking up on spillway plywood. Norm Standslikeadam, Glen Canyon Dam engineer, notes “We anticipate all the reservoirs in the basin to be full and spilling by July 4th this year so we’ve bought some plywood just in case.”
In other news, river runners exiting Grand Canyon are continuing to exercise caution navigating around a sunken jet boat partially submerged in a large rapid in the Columbine Falls area, six miles upstream of Pearce Ferry Rapid. In a very similar event to the Pearce Ferry Rapid, the Colorado River is now running over a submerged ridge just downstream of the mouth of Cave Canyon. The jet boat banked too far sideways trying to miss a kayaker playing in the rapid and sank March 21, 2009, in a failed up-run attempt.
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