The Smart Report: Notes From the Lake

Freedom — April 13, 2006 — The spring thaw of the lake was uneventful and to some degree, boring and therefore little or no damage. December was a different story. After the lake froze, we had rain that lifted the ice sheet way above the 407′ level and the wind picked up. For some of us this resulted in significant erosion of shoreline that is usually above summer water level or not affected by high water in warm weather.

Boats are back on the lake, but it is not easy. The ice went out of Broad Bay Sunday, April 2. When we got home from church there was a bass boat stuck on the sand just downstream of the marina. Water level was in the 404’ range.

How much water is enough for launching and boating? It all depends on where you are. Per Tim at Ossipee Lake Marina this morning, they do not have enough water to launch power boats and get them over the sand bar. The state ramp on the south side of Rt. 25 and the Lakeside Landing Marina on the channel should be OK, but watch out for the sand bars in the big lake and Spindle Point.

At the Dam
At the dam, two of the adjustable gates were closed by the 30th of March. Three gates remain open, and no “stop logs” have been put in on the north side. The logs are scheduled to go in by mid-May if rain showers are light. The state is watching weather conditions and lake levels on a day by day basis to try and avoid levels over 407.25 but yet provide enough water for boating.

When two gates were closed 12 days ago, the level stabilized and then increased a few inches until moderate, on and off rain on April 4–6. The level then went up almost 1.5’. Presently, the State is reporting 406.4’. Looking at the in/out flow rates this evening, the level has stabilized and may drop a little until the next rain.

Land has been cleared on the north side of the dam in preparation for “an upcoming project to reconstruct the overflow spillway, tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2007 or spring of 2008,” according to the State. “We hope to add some discharge capacity by employing some form of automated/remotely operated gates…”

Local News
The snow is gone and frost heaves are just about over. There are some pot holes on Rt. 153, but not bad. The west end of the Lake Rd. where it intersects with Rt. 41 in West Ossipee is worse than ever.

Spring load limits have been on most roads since early March. Effingham is lifting their restrictions next week. I expect the 3 ton limit in Freedom will be lifted before the end of April and the construction material trucks will begin to roll into the area again.

The big–big local news is the planned construction of 3 or 4 large “box” stores on the northwest side of Rt. 16 & 28 in Ossipee. No details yet. Construction of the Home Depot in North Conway should start this year, and the Lowes project continues to be a moving target. Bobby Sue’s ice cream building is closed in and they are targeting a late spring completion. You can expect ice cream without bugs this summer.

All in all it was a light winter. Plow truck was here only 3 times. Propane usage down about 100 gallons year to date. No waterfront damage and we did not use the generator. Much better than last year.

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