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CAMP RIPLEY — Heavy snowfall and below zero temperatures kept the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works very busy this past winter.

The removal of snow and ice, which can impact the quality of training around post, were a non-stop operation for the roads and grounds crews.

“We were running hard all season, but it will pay off once it starts to melt,” said Jim Tatro of Camp Ripley Roads and Grounds.

During the winter months, crews on Camp Ripley worked to clear snow from the roadway, airfield and ranges, allowing ease of operation to customers on post. This included the extensive removal of drifting snow which caused limited mobility on several open area roads. Additionally, the relocation of massive snow piles along plowed routes allowed for safer intersections with greater visibility.

“Continuing the extra effort in clearing snow from the sides our major roadways and intersection has been a great contribution to the overall safety and efficiency of traffic on post,” said Capt. Nathan Johnson, director of Public Safety.

The clearing of the ranges and training areas by the Roads and Grounds Department often serves a duel purpose. First, it allows for easy and safer training for those utilizing the facility. Second, it removes stockpiles of snow that can potentially flood the area once the melt begins.

“We do block off unsafe or flooded areas from training,” said Maj. Steven Hall, Camp Ripley Range Control Officer. “There are a few places we keep watch on, but most of the snow has already been moved,” he added.

“This year we are anticipating very little flooding, it’s draining into the ground and not pooling anywhere so far,” added Tatro.

The preparations made by Camp Ripley in past years included the instillation of several drainage culverts throughout the training area. These culverts are monitored by the Camp Ripley Environmental team which will assist in the clearing and maintenance to ensure effective drainage while preserving the integrity of the natural environment.

“We cleared all the drainage lines and culverts early this winter and once again with steam, it’s all draining away very well,” concluded Tatro.