The Smart Report: Greetings from the Land of Ice and Snow

Freedom – March 9, 2008 – Greetings from the land of ice and snow. My last report in mid January 2008 talked about our January thaw, rain and water level increase to 406.3 feet. It looked like winter was over and all that was holding up the boating season was ice on the lake.

Then real winter came back in the form of constant snowstorms and some below zero temperatures. We have been in Freedom for nine winters and this is the first time snow off the garage roof was up to the edge of the roof (almost 8′). We were very happy to have the snow on the ground rather than on the roof. Raked it off twice in February.

This is also the first time our snowplow service brought in a front-end loader to make room for the next snowstorms. The chirping of birds around the feeder has been replaced by chirping of back-up alarms on loaders and plow trucks.

Starting the week of March 1st, reports of roof collapses began appearing on the news. Some are commercial buildings and others are residential. Much activity with shoveling structures, including Freedom Town Hall and several neighbors. Friday I received reports crews were coming in from the south and charging $700 – $1,000 per residential roof. Retail parking lots and roads are in great shape.

As for the lake, not much of interest has take place since the January thaw. Level has come down at a moderate rate and was at 405.3 Friday evening, March 7. This is almost a foot above normal winter level. (January 3, 2008 was 404.7′).

We did not get much of the predicted rain on Friday. Saturday was very wet up to midnight when the area received more than 3″ of rain. Some of this rain made it to the lake and some is on hold in iced up areas waiting for warm weather. Not much reduction in the snow pack. Level is at 405.7 Sunday afternoon and I expect will reach the January 2008 level of 406.3 in a day or so. No rain on warm weather predicted for next week.

As for the future, it all depends on how nature treats us. During the last nine years we have almost always had a spring flood caused by rain. Last year we had April showers of over 5″ in three days and the level reached 412.2. On April 19, 2007 the lake remained ice covered. In 2006 conditions were dry and I needed help moving my dock off the beach and into the water. Then we got rain and a level of 412′. The DES schedule calls for the lake to reach normal summer level of 407.25′ by June 1, 2008.

The Freedom Church always has sunrise services at 7 am on Easter Sunday (two weeks from now) at the pavilion on Loon Lake. It will take a couple of miracles and several front-end loaders to accomplish this event in 2008.

Think early spring!

The Smart Report: Greetings from the Land of Ice and Snow

5 thoughts on “The Smart Report: Greetings from the Land of Ice and Snow

  • March 10, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    We live on Huckins Rd. on the west side of Broad Bay and are fascinated by something we have never seen before. The whole surface of the ice and snow on the bay is covered with little ant hill shaped bumps – thousands of them, and all perfectly symmetrical. A totally new phenomenon to us. Has anyone else noticed them? Has anyone an idea as to what caused them? Where can we go to find out? They are amazing!

  • March 10, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    The same bumps are everywhere on Leavitt Bay. I was admiring them this morning.

    My guess is that the heavy rain that occurred on Sunday afternoon and night, on top of the snowpack caused them to form.

    I also have never seen this formation before.

    One thing I know for sure is that they flatten easily when run over by a smowmobile.

  • March 10, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    My guess would be a combination of wind/snow deposition, human activity and thus snow packing variation and with the effect of rain washing to the lowest point, voila!

  • March 10, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    I have not noticed the bumps but believe they are out there. Steve Foley, I think you may have the answer. The “bumps” may be top of the snow pack before the last rain and the low spots are areas pushed down by the rain.

    Per my neighbor, he has been out on the ice cap and found that the top 3′ is mushey and consists of snow, slush, water and air pockets.

    The water mote in front of my place is almost 3′ wide so I do not expect to get out on the ice until the water level comes down (if it does)

    Also – weight restrictions were posted on local roads this morning.

  • March 11, 2008 at 11:10 am

    We received an email last night saying the same bumps are on Danforth Pond. If anyone has a digital camera and can take a picture, we’ll post it on this site.

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