METHUEN — Mount Loop is no more.
The 70-foot tower of snow that made national headlines this winter has melted to a waist-high pile of dirt and debris.
Soon, its remnants will be swept up and hauled away, returning the former beacon of New England's harshest season to its normal state — a movie theatre parking lot.
"No one will ever remember Mount Loop unless it happens again," said Gayle Nigro, general manager at The Loop on Pleasant Valley Street. "We don't need another winter like that."
Winter officially gave way to spring on March 20, but Mount Loop did not budge. Built by the seemingly endless plowing of the parking lots at the shopping complex over the course of winter, it still stood about 40 feet high between the Loews AMC movie theater and Route 213 earlier this month.
It ultimately took heavy machinery to help Mother Nature's cause.
"They knocked it down, bit by bit," said Nigro.
Nigro said the last traces of snow and ice disappeared Tuesday. Before the weather turned, she said Mount Loop consisted of more than 350,000 cubic yards of snow and ice.
"We had a killer winter," said Nigro. "It just kept getting higher and higher."
Mount Loop was truly a celebrity snowbank.
Nigro said a California family visiting relatives in the area came to The Loop to see the spectacle for themselves, after it was featured on a television news program.
"They came by with their video camera," said Nigro. "They wanted our autographs."
Many locals also made trips of their own, hoping to get their pictures taken next to it or - to the chagrin of Loop security guards — climb to the summit.
Loop Maintenance Supervisor Ernie Muise made that journey one winter day to plant an American flag at the top. The flag drew lots of attention by those driving by.
"The flag was the best part," said Nigro. "Cars were going by on 213 and they were honking and flashing their lights. They were waiving."
In the end, Nigro said Mount Loop served as a light-hearted reprieve from winter. But with its white coat quickly fading to brown and black, it was time for it to go, she said.
"It was too dirty to stay," said Nigro.
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