As I write this week’s column, your all-volunteer Dams Committee got caught with their proverbial pants down!! We’ve had numerous close calls this summer, but fortunately the Belgrade Lakes have avoided the severe flooding that many of our neighbors north and east of us have endured. Well, we got nailed this time with 4″ of rain in less than 24 hours, bringing Long Pond up a whopping 12″, Great Pond up 7″, and Salmon, McGrath, and Messalonskee each up 6″. We were prepared for 1″ or 2″ of rain, but not for 4″. This unfortunately resulted in washing out several of our neighbor’s docks.
Seeing that we were going to get slammed, we promptly opened the gates but by then, it was a little too late, for which we apologize. We’ve been in “save the water” mode for so long that it was not easy to switch gears, especially with so many recent false alarms. As we are now on the back side of the dog days of summer with the threat of a drought lessening, we will be allowing our water levels to recede a bit so we will better be able to handle these flash floods in the future.
In the meantime, we are bringing our water levels back down to just full pond as soon as we can. As I write this column, Snow Pond is again, remarkedly at 2.52″ below full due to their electricity generation and ability to handle a lot of water. Great Pond is today at 6.72″ above full with one gate opened just 2′ to not further add to Long Pond’s misery. Long Pond, at the Wings Mill Dam, is 2.76″ above full with both gates wide open. Upper Long Pond is currently a whopping 10″ above full due to its steep watershed. Salmon, is also slowly coming down and is now 4.5″ below full pond. Without any further deluges, it will take a couple of weeks to bring things back down to normal.
If you have a particular questions regarding our dams and/or water levels, please email your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will try to answer your question either in this column or via email.
Enjoy the family, your vacation, and what’s left of summer!
Dick Greenan is chairman of the Belgrade Lakes Watershed Dams Committee. He submitted this report on August 10, 2023.
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