The Smart Report: Halloween

Freedom — October 31, 2005 — October, 2005 has been a month of tricks and treats for water level of Ossipee Lake.

The State of N.H. Dam Authority has had more than their share of tricks from the measuring devices at the northwest end of the big lake. Steve Doyon and his crew have made several attempts to put accurate data on their website but they have been tricked out each time. So, for now do not rely on the web site (www.des.state.nh.us/rti-home/station-display.asp?ID=OSLNH) for data in the month of October.

The good news is that the Ark is again grounded on my beach and the doves have returned to the bird feeder.

Since almost achieving the low water plan of 403.5’ on Saturday, October 8, when the reading was 403.8’, we have had two days of heavy rain each of the three following weekends. This caused an all-time high for the month of 410.7’ on Monday the 17th.

Lots of floating junk and good stuff too. We also had a couple of days of high winds from the northwest. Note: during the last big flood, on June 17, 1998 the level reached 413.6’.

The word around town is how lucky we are to have started the drawdown a month early. Had we started with a summer level of 407.25’ on Columbus Day, October 10, the 6.5’ rise during the first week may have come close to the 1998 level rather than the 409.6’ we did experience.

Just for the record keepers:

10/07/05: Start of 2-day rain
10/08/05: 403.8’ – #1 low for October (lowest level this year)
10/11/05: 409.6’ – #1 high for October
10/14/05: 408.1’- #2 low for October and start of 2-day rain
10/17/05: 410.7’ – #2 high for October
10/23/05: 408.0’ – Start of 2-day rain
10/24/05: 407.8’ – #3 low for October
10/27/05: 409.5’ – #3 high for October
10/31/05: 408.1’ – End of October

Fortunately we did not receive most of the heavy rain to the west and south of us. Routes 16 and 153 had standing water in low areas for a few hours and in spots there continues to be water leaking across 153 near Purity Springs. We have more ground water than nature can handle this fall, so I expect we may not reach winter draw down levels before the lake freezes.

LESSON LEARNED (Again):

Store your waterfront stuff higher than you know is safe, and tie down everything that will float.

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