The Smart Report: January, 2008

Freedom – January 14, 2008 – Greetings from the “Snow Country” on Ossipee Lake. After reporting on lake conditions almost three months ago, nothing of great interest took place. No winter floods, the lake and bays froze over by early December and the water level almost got down to the usual 404.5’ by the end of December. Then things got interesting.

Temperature dropped to below freezing in late November and went below zero several times before Christmas. And yes, we had snow – lots of it. The plow truck opened my driveway five times before the end of the year and (I hope) will be back again this evening. So far everything was great for winter sports until year-end when we had rain and a January thaw that lasted until last night (Sunday). Temperature is down below freezing and we had 8–10 inches of snow starting early this morning. I measured 8” in my driveway and 14” where the town plow closed off my driveway. Snow is dry and good for blowing.

As for the lake level, it was up almost 6” to 405.1’ by year-end and held at that level until 1/03 when it began a slow decline to 404.7’ last Tuesday. Then the rain and very warm (40s–50s) weather with some sun delivered the January thaw. The ground began to appear in most sheltered areas, and town and state plows pushed remaining snow behind the tree line and scooped out intersections. Lake level came up rapidly starting last Wednesday and is now at 406.3’. This is less than a foot below summer level.

As the water level increases, the sheet of ice rises and the new water appears as a moat between shore and the ice sheet. There is a 6’ wide moat in front of my place on Broad Bay. Tough going for ATVs, sleds and other winter activity on the ice because of the moat. There are several stories of machines going off the edge and into shallow water. No reports of human injuries, but be careful of low cost, used machines.

Some roads are having trouble with frost heaves. There are postings on 153 north of 25 and on the west end of the Lake Road. Usual bad spots going into Freedom are bad.

That’s it for now.


  1. Perry Fine 16 years ago January 15, 2008

    Just a note from west of the Great Divide to thank Bob for his reports that keep me up to date on the happenings around Ossipee Lake. We’ve had a very snowy winter ourselves here in the Intermountain West….when it melts, we’ll look forward to migrating back to Carroll County.
    Best of health to one and all.

  2. Frances Lebel 16 years ago January 15, 2008

    On a cold winter day, enjoyed your pictures of our beautiful Ossipee Lake. Our view from Portsmouth Cove is also beautiful. We never see it in winter, so enjoyed them.


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