A lot of folks have been worried about the possibility of an accident with one of the huge Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil “megaload” trucks seeking to travel beside the winding Lochsa River on their way to the tar sands in Alberta. But the hue and cry over the big rigs apparently overlooked another danger: Toilet paper!
The Missoulian’s Kim Briggeman investigated:
A five-mile stretch of Idaho’s Wild and Scenic Lochsa River remained cluttered by megarolls of toilet paper Tuesday, four days after a truck driver from Texas lost control on a tight turn and dumped the load. …
The Freightliner truck he was driving took out roughly 100 feet of guardrail before overturning and sliding into the river, dumping the load of eight rolls of unprocessed toilet paper, each weighing 8,000 pounds.
The road was closed while the truck and trailer were removed from the river. Two of the rolls were fished out with a cable and tow truck before they became too saturated, said Don Whitney, a fisheries biologist for Idaho Fish and Game.
“They estimated that once these rolls are waterlogged they weigh about 30,000 pounds apiece,” Whitney said.
Whitney says the toilet paper likely won’t affect the salmon just starting to appear this summer in the Lochsa.