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Excavator finally pulled from swamp

A 45,000-pound excavator, mired in a swamp near Merrifield, was pulled out of th

They got it out. It took four days of effort, three bulldozers, an excavator and more than a half-mile of winch cables, but a Tom’s Backhoe excavator that was stuck in a swamp near Merrifield was freed from the muck Thursday.

Tom Thompson, owner of Tom’s Backhoe and the 45,000-pound excavator, said no one was hurt and they were able to start the vehicle and drive it from the site, although considerable damage was sustained by the excavator’s electrical system. The excavator was in Thompson’s shop Friday night.

“Everybody was awesome,” Thompson said of the people who volunteered. 

In particular he mentioned the help of the Baxter Snowmobile Club. It was a Baxter Snowmobile Club trail groomer that originally got stuck in the swampy area between Legionville Road and the Paul Bunyan Trail, requiring the excavator to venture out into the area. The groomer was successfully pulled from the swamp more than a week ago.

Thompson said he’d never had an extrication challenge like this one and he appreciated the volunteers.

“A lot of people helped,” Thompson said.

MIKE O’ROURKE may be reached at or 855-5860.