The Smart Report: Notes from the Lake

Freedom — April 2, 2005 — The lake has been at its normal winter low since the flood of December went down the river. The dam has been wide open all winter with a steady flow under the Route 153 Bridge. The lake has been iced over all winter.

Last Saturday our neighbor Chuck drilled a hole in front of his place and reports 24″ which is a combination of the original freeze plus several layers of snow and rain. We had a day of heavy rain on Monday or Tuesday. By Wednesday morning the lake began to rise and the water began to leak out between the ice and the shore. There has been a steady, almost rapid rise in the water level.

Thursday afternoon I visited the dam. Both sides are wide open and there was no ice on the pond looking as far west as I could see. Also, there were no ice cakes floating in the open water. By Saturday morning the water was up to the bottom of my sea wall. I would guess that level is 405.5 – 406, so the increase is about 30 days early.

The rain returned early this morning (Saturday) but not as heavy as predicted and it all but stopped around noon. That was good because I had to go and pull my son-in-law’s car out of the mud in Wolfeboro. Prediction is for the rain to return late this evening, and end by noon Sunday another 1-2 inches. The river under the 153 bridge is running full at flood stage.

I expect we will have 407-408 feet of water by Tuesday morning and most of the ice will be gone. This will be about where we were during the flood last December when there was a problem removing the boards from north side of the dam. I do not believe we have an ice dam problem.

Looks like it’s the old “7 units in and 1 unit out” drainage that the glacier built into this part of NH. If the rain ends Sunday noon, I expect we will avoid a disaster thanks to the dam being open all winter.


I just called Chuck to get his input and see if his observations are similar to mine – and they are. He just (6 PM) came up from the lake and is reporting a measured depth of 407.7 feet. The lake came up 8″ from church time this morning to the 6 PM measurement. The lake came up 18″ in the last 24 hours. Heavy rain quit about 7 AM this morning, but some on/off showers during the day. Since Friday morning we have received 2 3/8″ of rain.

I now think that my prediction of 408′ by Tuesday morning is conservative. We should reach that level by midnight this evening. I expect we will be at 408.5′ by Monday morning and 410′ by Tuesday morning if the prediction of clearing holds true. Reminder, the state owns all land up to the 410′ level.

Yesterday someone replaced the “FROST HEAVES” sign on the southbound side of Route 153 near Bobby Sue’s with one that reads “HIGH WATER”. I think the sign relates to April 1st, as there is no water problem on the road.

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