Thursday, April 26, 2007

Float Cabin Living – What Happens During Storms?

You’ve already read about some of the storms on Powell Lake. In “Weather Watch” you read about graupel. Of course, “Snowy Days” let you feel what winter is like on the float. “The Power of Nature,” “Fierce Winter Storms” gave some insight into the worst wind and storm season in memory. If you are “Caught in the Fog” on the lake, it can make you feel really isolated.

We love to be at our float cabin in all seasons, so we are there for all types of weather. We are relatively safe in Hole in the Wall. The bay, promontory and nearby Goat Island protect us from the worst of the wind. On the open lake, especially in the area dubbed the “North Sea” just beyond First Narrows, storm winds out of the southeast can whip the water into three foot plus waves. After storms pass, clearing northwest winds can blast down first narrows creating white caps and dangerous waves. I’ve even seen hefty workboats duck into Hole in the Wall for a brief respite. Traveling up and down the lake in our Campion runabout would be more dangerous than staying put.

The worst damage we've experienced is a dislodged chimney, two broken anchor cables (Up the Lake Chapter 4), and a rust weakened BBQ that flew the coop leaving its legs sticking up like a dead bug. That’s not bad for a year that destroyed several cabins and left others severely damaged.

The weight of snow on the roof and float could be a problem, but fortunately Powell Lake’s weather is moderated by the nearby ocean. Snow typically sticks for only a few days. The biggest problem we have is uncovering the solar panels so they can continue to gather the limited winter sun.

Rain is the most common type of storm. If you live in a floating cabin, a little more water isn’t a problem. Thin cracks between the boards on the deck let the water run right through. The cabin rides easily up and down on its anchor cables as the lake rises and falls from the wet to dry season. So, let it storm and let it rain. We’re prepared. -- Margy

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