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Posted on: January 30, 2024

Twin Falls Fire Department and Partner Agencies Team-up To Cleanup Slippery Situation

Potato Waste Cleanup

Potato Waste CleanupThe Twin Falls Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a Hazardous Materials Incident late Sat., Jan. 27 near the intersection of Hankins and Kimberly Roads that turned out to be less of an environmental hazard and more of a safety hazard.

When the call came in about 7 p.m. Saturday of a hazardous material spill, the Twin Falls Fire Department dispatched a battalion to respond. What they found however was not a chemical but rather several tons of potato waste from a nearby processor. The thick slimy substance covered both eastbound lanes on Kimberly Road – creating a potato ‘slick’ that stretched 1.5-miles. 

Cars and trucks immediately began losing traction and firefighters began direction traffic to prevent collisions or injuries. Plow trucks from Idaho Transportation Department attempted to remove the starchy slime and potato peels, however, they were unable to remove the slippery substance. A second attempt was made to flush it off the roadway, to no effect.

"It was more of a safety hazard for drivers than an environmental hazard."   - Battalion Chief, Aaron Hudson

The Twin Falls Fire Department contacted members the City Streets for water trucks and Airport Maintenance teams at Magic Valley Regional Airport for their large runway broom trucks. City snow plows, firefighting equipment, water trucks, and airport maintenance equipment worked in tandem into the night to clear the muck off the road. All eastbound lanes on Kimberly Road were reopened by 1 a.m. Sunday.

The Fire Department would like to thank the Twin Falls Police and Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office for directing traffic during the cleanup. Additional cleanup was directed to the Burley based company that spilt the product.

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