Effingham — December 7, 2004 — In what may be a repeat of last year’s events, a series of significant late season rainstorms has increased the lake to a flood level when it should be at its lowest to accommodate winter ice.
The rapid rise in the water promoted calls to the New Hampshire Dam Authority, and yesterday morning a State crew was dispatched to the dam to remove the boards from the north side of the complex to accelerate the lake’s drainage.
Weather statistics from northconwayweather.com show the lake received nearly 6” of rain in November, followed by new rainstorms during the past week. Although the gauge that measures the level of the lake has been winterized and is out of service until the spring, observers say the lake is currently between 408’ and 409’. The official winter level should be 405.5’.
At Thanksgiving, it was reported that the level of the water was at the top of the concrete at the northern portion of the dam. It is at that point that the boards are usually removed to complete the drawdown. Before that could be accomplished, however, rain brought the level of the lake to a flooding condition.
Last year, the lake rose dramatically in December and then froze solid. While the lake continued to drain at the dam, the ice remained where it was along the shore. When it began to break up in the spring, it wreaked havoc with shorelines, docks, and jetties as it was blown around by the wind.
Yesterday, lake resident Robert Smart reported the first ice skin along his shoreline on Broad Bay and in the vicinity of Ossipee Lake Marina. The weather report for the lake is for rain, snow, and cold temperatures during the next few days as the lake continues to drain.
Smart is the author of an article on the dam and how it is operated. It appeared in the autumn 2004 issue of the Alliance newsletter.