Freedom — August 26, 2011 — I just got off the phone with a call to Dan Mattaini at the State Dam Bureau. He provided an outline of what has and is going to be done to control the Ossipee Lake level in the next several days. This action is based on the best available estimates of rain in our area from Hurricane Irene on Saturday – Sunday.
At noon yesterday (Thursday) the lake level was 407.2′ and on the way down from a level near 407.5′ two days earlier. One south side gate is open with a value of 250 cfs (cubic feet per second) and almost 3 layers of stop logs are out on the north side. I counted 38 logs chain locked to the catwalk. Discharge over the top on the north side is estimated at 450 cfs noon yesterday.
Later today the four remaining gates will be opened and result in an increased flow of 1,000 cfs. If on Saturday morning the prediction for heavy rain continues, the remaining 1.5 layers of stop logs will be removed. By that time the lake level should be down 6-10 inches below summer level.
Dan will be watching conditions on Saturday and Sunday. If the rain comes, there is nothing more that can be done to prevent a flood. If the rain does not come, some of the boat ramps and shallow places will be dry. If there is little or no rain, Dan will have all gates on the south side closed and then work on replacing the north side stop logs.
The plan is to have the lake level back to 407.25 as soon as possible and hold at that level until the scheduled winter drawdown starts on October 10th.
NOTE: In previous years it has been observed that one inch of widespread rain can raise the lake level one foot in a day or two.