Storms turn Rifle cemetery into branch graveyard | PostIndependent.com

Storms turn Rifle cemetery into branch graveyard

Kathy Pototsky
City of Rifle
Rifle crews have loaded up three large dump trucks of heavy ends and seven dump trucks of smaller branches in an effort to clean up the Rose Hill Cemetery after recent storms.
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Rifle city crews have had their work cut out from them as the latest series of storms took down some of the older trees at Rose Hill Cemetery, leaving them with tons of branches and debris to remove. The older, larger trees at the cemetery were no match for Mother Nature as their decades old branches were ripped off in the storms.

“We have so far spent over 40 man hours cutting up and removing broken tree branches since the first storm hit approximately two weeks ago,” explained Alan Lambert from the City’s Grounds and Facilities Division. “Two days were spent cutting up large branches with chain saws.”

Heavy equipment had to be brought in to assist the staff with safe removal.

So far, three large dump trucks of heavy ends and seven dump trucks of smaller branches have been loaded and removed. And the work is not yet complete. City crews hope to continue their clean-up efforts this week, weather permitting.

“Snow removal from our streets and walkways is obviously a top priority and many of the same staff members who are involved in the cemetery clean-up are the ones removing snow from sidewalk, trails and park properties,” noted Tom Whitmore, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City.

The National Weather Service predicts this weather pattern will continue for at least the next 10 days. The breaks between storm systems should allow the clean-up to be complete within the next few weeks.