Snowbanks can be dangerous

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - Ray Gouchie cringes when he sees children digging holes in the massive snowbanks near the Amherst Stadium.

As stadium foreman, he has noticed several holes being dug into the banks at the south side of the rink and he's urging parents to have a talk with their children.

"The last thing we want to see is for one of the things collapse and suffocate a child," Gouchie said. "Hopefully the parents will read this and have a chat with their children about it."

Stadium employees first noticed the improvised snow forts late last week and had the town's contractor come in and knock them down after making sure no one was inside. Following Monday's ice storm, Gouchie noticed more tunnels in a mound of snow near the side doors of the stadium.

The contractor was called back to the stadium on Tuesday to knock the snow down again and Gouchie is hoping that will be the end of it.

Stadium employee Chris Comeau went into the tunnel to make sure no one was inside. He emerged from an another exit at the top of the snowbank, saying it was large enough inside for someone to stand up.

That only added concern for Gouchie, who said something had to be done immediately.

He's also concerned that with children playing in the snowbanks presents a risk in that they could be hit by snowplows clearing the parking lot or suffocated as more snow is added to the banks.

"If one of those banks fell in on a kid he wouldn't have a chance. He'd suffocate and no one would know he was there," he said. "That's why we have to knock them down. I just hope they don't decide to dig more tunnels. It's too dangerous."

Geographic location: Amherst Stadium

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