The Smart Report: Notes from the Lake

Freedom — April 7, 2005 — Conditions are about the same as Tuesday except the level is dropping at about the same rate as the slow leak in my boat trailer tire.

Level is down to about 409.0′. Some ice chunks have broken off and are flowing north in front of my place. Had light wind out of the south.

I did drive around various parts of the lake and bays this morning. At Lord’s Landing Marina on the channel between the big lake and Broad Bay the water was near the top of wall but not into the buildings. Flow is enormous. Looks like TV news video of major river floods.

Long Sands Rd: Buildings appear to be above the lake level. Some standing water from the ice melt. South End of Big Lake & Broad Bay: Some open water but most area covered with ice. Berry Bay: Looks like deep winter. River between Broad Bay and Leavitt is open with floating ice.

Around noon today I talked with Steve Doyon in Concord, at the NH Dam Bureau. The Water Level and Rain gauges on the west shore of the big lake are still in winter hibernation so we do not have an official water level reading. Steve agrees with Chuck Depew that during flood conditions like today the big lake is higher than Broad Bay. Steve’s guess is up to one-foot difference. Chuck thinks it is 1.5 feet. We will look for an opportunity to test these estimates when the State’s gauge is operational.

Steve expects to keep the dam open until water level drops to around 405.5′ but is aware of need for a full pond by Memorial Day. It only takes a couple of days of heavy spring rain to go from enough water to float your boat to water in the basement.

That reminds me, Chuck has now established a benchmark in concrete for the 407′ level. Today he compared this with the high water mark of June, 1998 and concluded that flood topped out at 413.5′ – so 409.9’ on Tuesday for this flood was not all that bad.

Rain estimates for Thursday/Friday are down to a drizzle so I think the excitement of early April, 2005 is over. I will discontinue these reports from the field until something interesting takes place.

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