The Smart Report: After the Flood, August 2011

Freedom — August 30, 2011 — Yes, Ossipee Lake did flood as a result of Tropical storm Irene and the level continues to go up. On Broad Bay, the rain started Saturday evening (8/27) and continued until about noon on Sunday – about 4.1″ of rain. Then the wind picked up and lasted until about noon today (Monday). Our area appears to be free of wind damage. I did try to get to the dam around 6 p.m. Monday but the road just off Rt. 153 was closed by a wire being down and a barrier on the road.

As of Monday evening the official lake level (on the big lake) is 409.25 – 2 ft. over summer level. All indications are for increased elevation during the next day or two. There is a good chance of 410 ft. or higher. Based on flow rates I believe the dam continues to be wide open.

Some history of where the reported level has been:

8/25 – Thursday – 5 p.m. – 407.25′ – normal summer level
8/28 – Sunday – 6 a.m. – 406.3′ – lowest level before the storm (61 hours to bring the level down by using  a managed opening of the dam to avoid navigation problems if the rain did not come as predicted.)
8/29 – Sunday – 1 a.m. – 407.25′ – back to summer level in 19 hours with the dam wide open
8/29 – Sunday – 7 a.m. – 408.25′ – Up one foot in 6 hours
8/29 – Sunday – 9 p.m. – 409.25 – Up another foot in 14 hours

Inflow from the Bearcamp reached 5,421 cfs 8 p.m. on Sunday. This is about as high as I remember in the last ten years. The flow droped to 1,345 Monday evening but is high enough to continue raising the lake.

Looks like the estimate of one foot increase in lake level for each inch of widespread rain is going to hold true for this storm.


  1. EARL CARTER 13 years ago August 30, 2011

    Having a camp on the Pine River, app 1/4 mile before Lake Ossipee. I am interested to , know as to the river condition, how bad is or was the level? overflow banks ? Hodgdon Shore Road closed for high water ?? Any comeback with information much appreciated
    Thank you

    Earl Carter

  2. Diego 13 years ago August 30, 2011

    the 29th was monday

  3. Ingrid DeWitt 13 years ago August 30, 2011

    Ingrid DeWitt at 8:25 pm on August 29th, 2011

    If anyone finds a 4 seat 1995 12′ Godfrey white/teal paddle boat with pontoons, it belongs to my next door neighbor, I sold it to him a month ago, it broke loose from it’s mooring Sat. night on the main lake. He bought it from us for his grandchildren. Please call Mike and Ingrid DeWitt, 539-4142 if you have found it, and we will pick it up and return it to my neighbor.

  4. Ingrid DeWitt 13 years ago August 30, 2011

    Earl, I drove over the Pine River Bridge on Rt. 25 this morning, the river was over it’s banks and the boat ramp had water right up to the rim. I am on the main lake, Pauli Point area, and the water is about 3 inches over my dock, but has appeared to stop rising.


  5. Neil Clark 13 years ago August 30, 2011

    Earl: I looked at your place yesterday and it looked to be fine. The road has not been closed. We were lucky!

  6. Don 13 years ago August 30, 2011

    Our property is located on Leavitt Bay and we we have been there for just over 20 years, and seen lots of high and low water in the bay. We are aware of the fact that the water level in Leavitt Bay drops quickly when the dam is opened, well ahead of the main lake. When the main lake is on the rise, Leavitt Bay levels rise with a day or two or three lag. Is there a gage that will give is near real time readings on the levels in Leavitt Bay, and can that be included in the smart reports we get? Because of flow restrictions in the channels, the levels in the bays (Broad, Leavitt, and Berry) are quite different that those on the main lake or even at the dam. It would be nice to know while 120 miles away from the lake what the levels are in the bay.

    Today’s topic is high water but last years winter draw down created quite a problem for me when my dug well started to pump air at the foot valve. Our place is year round and the only time that had ever happened to us before was during one of the major draw downs years ago to accomodate beachfront maintenance. When the lake is ice and snow covered I question the lake levels being reported. As soon as my well starts to spit air again you will hear from me on this subject.

  7. Bob Smart 13 years ago August 30, 2011

    The 29th. was Monday, not Sunday as reported – must have been one of those senior moments.
    Looks like the big lake crested at about 409.35 around 9 am Tuesday morning.
    So far this summer it appears that readings on the big lake are accurate even thou the state has been using the wording, ” Reported As” rather than “The Level”.
    The only Ossipee Lake reporting stations are Bearcamp River, West side of the big lake and Ossipee river below the dam. Readings on the bays only matches the big lake when there has been no major change in elevation for a week or longer. So far this week my bench mark/yard stick shows the level about 6″ below the big lake.
    All the gates are wide open all winter so the depth of the draw down depends on how much rain or snow melt we get during the winter.

  8. TM 13 years ago August 31, 2011

    Ingrid – Yesterday (Tuesday 8/30) morning on Broad Bay, there was a paddle boat floating by – not sure if it’s the one you are looking for, but we believe it probably ended up somewhere over by Robin Hood.

  9. Dennie 13 years ago August 31, 2011

    A dock (with solar lights) is floating on Leavitt Bay. It seems to be anchored (or stuck). Has this been reported already?
    Not having been here since Saturday morning, we are two days late in the reporting of water-related observations.
    But… We added 1,000 pounds of weights to our dock and lashed it to a tree last night.

  10. lisbeth hussey 13 years ago September 1, 2011

    Found paddle boat and am at 382 pequawket trail steep Banks. I have no phone but willborrow one to call later.
    It is tied up right out front.

  11. Don 13 years ago September 2, 2011

    What a great resource this website is for situations like high water and missing or damaged items.

  12. Don 13 years ago September 2, 2011

    I was concerned that the floating dock on Leavitt Bay with the solar lights might have been mine. I had guests staying at the cottage all week and they told me it’s not mine (mine is aluminum) and that the dock in question is tied to a marker near the island.

  13. Bob Smart 13 years ago September 3, 2011

    Saturday morning 8/3 – There is a report on the State Dam Authority web that the lake level is down to about 3″ over summer level and the dam will be closed down latger in the day.


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