Freedom — April 3, 2012 — Official ice-out was reported by the Ossipee Recreation Department as 4 p.m. Saturday, March 24, 2012. This is 19 hours earlier than the record set in 2010, and is the earliest ice-out in the last 15 years. Last year the date was April 20th.
Of greater interest to property owners may be the rise and fall of the water level starting in early March. The level was at the normal winter low of 404.5′ and all gates were open with a flow rate of 450 cfs. With no significant rain or snow predicted and a concern for having the level up to 407.5 by June 1st, the Dam Bureau decided to close some of the south side gates and capture some of the snow melt. North side stop logs remained in winter storage, so at 405′ the water began to flow over the north side dam.
Then our week of warm weather arrived with temperatures in the 70s most days and the snow began to melt and melt and melt. Lake level continued to rise even though all gates were open. By mid-March the lake level reached 407.3′ — almost all from winter snow melt. The weather turned cool but most of the snow was gone.
Water level began to go down at a steady rate of about 1.5″ per day. By noon yesterday (Monday) the level was back to HALF FULL at 405.6′, almost all of the snow is gone and no significant rain or snow in the forecast.
At 11 am Monday the Dam Authority had a crew prepare for summer. The steel stanchions are being lowered into place on top of the concrete spillway, 2 of the 4 strings of stop logs are going in, and 3 of the 5 gates are being shut this morning. This resulted in the flow rate being reduced from 850 to 455 cfs.
Time to get the driftwood off the beach and finish dock repairs.