Sunday, November 3, 2013


Washington Island -

The photo of our Island post office was taken Thursday morning, around 7:35.   It was a dark, foggy morning with rain during the night.  A few cars were out.  Dump trucks were running dredging spoils to the Town's site on Gunnlaugsson Road.   A few patrons were next door at the Red Cup.  In many respects, though, it was a very quiet day, heading into the first of November.

Unfortunately for youngsters who were looking forward to trick-or-treating, the day didn't improve much from this point.  By 4 p.m. rain put the damper on an outdoor Halloween activity at school, with accompanying temperature in the lower 40s.

Danish Mill - a wet but inviting scene in the early morning hour.

Rain doesn't stop dredging.  In fact, the good thing about these past days was the low daily wind speed.  However, a windy stretch is forecast, and the Roen crew may take the next two days to reunite with family members.  A broken pin on the excavator bucker in mid-week required switching back to the crane with bucket for a few days, until the new part was obtained.   The material dredged in the previous 48 hours was as rocky as any thus far.  On the one hand, it's a good thing the excavator can dig through those areas.  However, the offloading into trucks is slowed because the stones (combined with some softer material) is harder for the crane bucket to grab and place into trucks.

Water levels fluctuated greatly in recent weeks. Today, Sunday, the level is as high as a month or more ago.  But we've also seen dips in the level when the wind is northerly.  The Army Corps measurements indicated Lake Michigan was approximately 7.5 inches higher than at the same time last year.  At least that's a net gain for the year, so far.

For the month of September, Island Weather Observer John Delwiche reported rain fall amounts a few hundredths over the historical monthly average of 3.21"       For the year, however, we are nearly 7.5 inches above average, which accounts in part for the overall increase in lake level.

-  Dick Purinton

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