The spring of 2011 will be known as the 70 or so days of high water here in the Lake Champlain Basin. This web page is an accumulation of data, images and video we captured over the course of the two plus months.
We like a milestone, and good record or two and we even
like seeing history in the making, but the historic
height of Lake Champlain was, well, something we would
have been happy to have missed.
But we didn't and true
to form we decided to document as much of it as possible
and to alert our Lake Champlain friends and ECHO
enthusiasts of the comings and goings of our Lake water
and all that came with it.
started innocently enough with the curiosity
and ingenuity of ECHO's IT guy, Travis Cook. He decided
to affix a "flood camera" on the upper pane of Julie
Silverman's window. Julie is ECHO's Director of New (she
deals a lot with the exhibits). Travis decided to point
the web camera toward our parking lot where you could
see the top part of the boat Moonlight Lady, at her
winter mooring on the south side of ECHO, and beyond her
the balance of the parking lot.
found ourselves transfixed by the rising Moonlight Lady, until
her tethered lines were so tight she no longer floated up even
thought the water continued to rise. Eventually the Moonlight
Lady moved a bit north and that opened up the view of the
flooding even more.
Here is a time lapse video of the flooding as it
consumed, receded some, then consumed again, the ECHO parking
The rising waters galvanized everyone into action.
We put our parking booth up on cinder blocks and pulled
our Parking Lot Full sign and put it away. We documented
fish in the lot and even Kayakers enjoying the
opportunity to poke around. We even saw
the brutal waves attempt to rattle the Lone Sailor
statue at the U.S. Navy Memorial. We saw
but way fewer of them than the dark rainy
ones that kept coming and coming finally adding up to
the highest the Lake has ever been, 103.27 on May 6th,
which, ironically, was the same day ECHO celebrated the
kick off of it's capital campaign ironically named "Get
Closer to the Lake". Irony (and some humor) aside,
Vermont's Senator Patrick Leahy and Governor Peter Shumlin
came to the event and helped to make it special. They also used
the location and the day to
meet with FEMA officials to discuss the flooding and possible
future Federal aid.
ECHO, as a
host sight for the USGS Lake Gauge, became a popular stop for the news media as
well as pedestrians. Countless images were being posted
on the internet and thousands upon thousand of people
visited the on-line link to the weather station over the
course of the two+ months of the flooding. Local TV
stations posted special reports such as