Freedom – June 1, 2009 – After working outside between rain showers the last few days, it appears that the black flies have given up for the season and were replaced by mosquitoes. We had strong wind out of the south and out of the west much of the time, which helped keep the bugs away. Winds also resulted in two good-looking dock sections blown up on the east shore of Broad Bay three days ago.
As for the water level, it is approximately 6″ over summer level today. The official plan is 407.25′ from June 1 to October 12. Actual level was over plan until nine days ago when lack of rain and partial open dam gradually reduced the level.
Last Wednesday the level was 5″ below plan and continuing to drop. Gate opening was reduced by 1/3 at noon. This reduced flow, plus 1.5″ of rain Wednesday night and all day Thursday had the level back to plan by Friday morning.
At noon on Friday gates were opened and water flow more than doubled. We had another 0.3″ of rain late Saturday with the net result that the water level continued to rise and was 6″ over summer plan yesterday (Sunday).
The level has crested and outflow continues to increase. The flow is up 20% from gate opening on Friday. All level values are for the Big Lake. Broad Bay level is usually 2-3″ below the Big Lake during flood conditions.
Once again, nature has reminded us that 1″ of widespread rain can result in about 12″ of lake level rise within two days. Holding summer level requires a constant study of weather predictions, application of judgment and frequent adjustments to gate openings.
[Bob Smart is an Ossipee Lake Alliance contributing columnist]