Clearing the Spirit Trail

As sometimes happens, a tree fell across the Clark Lake Spirit Trial in the Magic Forest section between Jefferson Road and Lakeview East.  It was Tucker Boyers, Bob Lajdziak and Don Fowler who cleared the way this morning. 

First, the “before” photo with Bob and Don standing in front of the downed tree.

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And this “after” photo indicates “all clear.”  Thanks to Tucker for providing the photos.

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Spring Forward

beach bar clock

Beach Bar clock

“Spring Forward, Fall Back” is an easy way to remember which way the clocks go when changing from standard time to daylight time or vice versa.  If you haven’t heard, the change takes place officially this Sunday, March 12, at 2 am.

Some clocks adjust automatically, if they are connected to the internet. For those that don’t switch themselves, here’s some music to change your clocks by…

And if you need a little more accompaniment, here’s another…

Returning from our 60s blast to the past, here’s a more recent song.  It’s a Ben Folds piece entitled “Time” performed acapella by the Princeton Nassoons, who are sitting in a muddy field somewhere in New Jersey.

Storm Impact Update

The high winds, reaching a peak gust of 62 mph at Jackson’s Reynolds Field Wednesday, played major havoc with the power, cable and internet.  As of 8:22 am today (Friday), Consumers Energy’s outage map continues to show significant interruptions to service not only at Clark Lake, but across the state.

outage 2017 03-10 820 amCE provides this update, released this morning (Friday).

“Consumers Energy employees, contractors and mutual assistance crews from six states worked steadily throughout the night to restore electric service to customers who lost power as a result of destructive wind storms that occurred earlier this week.

“The vast majority of customers without electric service should have power restored by midnight Saturday. In some of the hardest areas, including portions of Genesee, Kent and Kalamazoo counties, restoration work will continue into Sunday. As of 4 a.m., approximately 100,000 customers remained without power.

“This week’s long-lasting winds of up to 60 mph took down nearly 8,200 electric wires and broke more than 1,100 poles across Consumers Energy’s service territory, which includes all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

“From lineworkers to damage assessors, wire guards and customer service representatives, more than 2,000 people are engaged in electric restoration activities. An additional 181 crews from utilities in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana are assisting Consumers Energy crews in this effort.

“Customers can sign up to get outage alerts and restoration times sent to a phone, email or text message, Text ‘REG’ to 232273 or visit: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/alerts. Customers can also, report an outage, check the status of an outage and get useful tips what to do before, during and after a storm by visiting www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter.

“The public is urged to make these safety tips a top priority:

·         Stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines. Call 911 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050 to report.

·         Be alert to crews working along roads. Drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so they safely can go past workers on roadsides.

·         Operating a generator may produce hazardous levels of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas. Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement or near any air intakes, and never fuel a generator when it is running.

·         Customers concerned about staying in their home during the colder temperatures are encouraged to call 2-1-1. Local emergency management officials are collecting information from 2-1-1 centers to help determine if warming centers need to be opened. 

To view specific counties and regions most affected by electric interruptions, please visit: https://www.consumersenergy.com/outagemap.

Wednesday’s high winds hit Clark Lake not under thunderous clouds, but under sunny skies, as you can see from this midday photo of the dam taken by Flip Reynolds.

FR 2017 03-08 high winds at dam ps

Late afternoon Thursday, there was a dusting of snow (Ann Swain photo).

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Bill Leutz’s survey of some cottages on Thursday along Eagle Point Road revealed a few shingles down and minor siding damage.  There were many smaller branches and sticks everywhere.  In this photo from Cara King, you can see how the wind affected some trees.  The King’s live on Eagle Point Road,  west end.

Cara high winds 2017 03-08 1
The power of the high winds created some unusual artifacts. In these two photos by Ann Swain, you see a branch pummeled into the ground.  In the next photo, the branch has been pulled out of the ground illustrating the depth of penetration. 

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High Winds Aftermath

Some people at Clark Lake are feeling the aftermath of the major winds.  A gust of 62 mph was recorded at Jackson’s Reynolds Field yesterday. Consumers Energy outage map shows significant interruptions to service, as of 3:15 pm today.

Outage 2017 03-09 315 pm

You can get updated views of this map by clicking here.  Scroll down for CE’s comprehensive update issued about noon today.

Bill Leutz surveyed the Eagle Point west end area and found 6 cottages with minor shingle or siding damage.  Plus, he says, there was “lots of limbs 2 to 3 inches in diameter in the yards.”

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Ann Swain found evidence of how just strong the winds were.  The sheer thrust of the wind shoved this branch into the ground.  Below that, you can see the branch pulled out and just how deeply the branch had penetrated the ground.

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The following update from Consumers Energy tells the story of their statewide work.

“Consumers Energy crews have since Tuesday restored more than 160,000 customers left without electric service by damaging winds that ripped across Michigan Tuesday and Wednesday. That edges the recovery work past the halfway point of the 319,000 customers served by the energy provider affected by this catastrophic event, which took down nearly 8,200 wires and broke more than 1,100 poles.

“Because of the storm’s duration and statewide impact, some customers in the worst impacted areas may not have power restored until Sunday.

“From lineworkers to damage assessors, wire guards and customer service representatives, more than 2,000 people are engaged in the electric restoration effort. An additional 181 workers have arrived from utilities in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana to assist the crews in Michigan.

“Customers can now sign up to get outage alerts and restoration times sent to a phone, email or text message, Text ‘REG’ to 232273 or visit: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/alerts. Customers can also, report an outage, check the status of an outage and get useful tips what to do before, during and after a storm by visiting www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter.

“Consumers urges the public to keep these safety tips in mind:
·         Stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines and to call 911 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.
·         Be alert to crews working along roads. Drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so they safely can go past workers on roadsides.
·         Operating a generator may produce hazardous levels of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas. Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement or near any air intakes, and never fuel a generator when it is running.
·         Customers concerned about staying in their home during the colder temperatures are encouraged to call 2-1-1. Local emergency management officials are collecting information from 2-1-1 centers to help determine if warming centers need to be opened.
 
“To view specific counties and regions most affected by electric interruptions, please visit: https://www.consumersenergy.com/outagemap

And then, this afternoon (Thursday) at Clark Lake, it was snow!

AS 2017 03-09 snow

High Wind Update

At last count, over 18,000 customers in Jackson County, had experienced a power outage.  Some of those are at Clark lake at the east end, south side, in the area of Q Lane.  Consumers Energy reports over 260, 000 service interruptions statewide since Tuesday (see list of hardest hit counties below). 

WKL 2017 03-08 wind damage 1

Bill Leutz reports that 50 mph winds whipped through the Clark Lake area felling tree branches and trees.  At one time, “branches were down on Jefferson Road, Eagle Point Road, and Lakeview Drive, among other places.”  Here’s what the Consumers Energy outage map looked like at 7:45 pm today.  The gray-shaded areas indicate 1 -50 outages in that area.

power out

And how did the lake react?

BJ Lyons says “I’ve never seen the lake like this before. The waves were the highest ever.  Every so often when an extreme gust blew over the white caps, a plume of spray would launch into the air, leaving a mist hanging overhead.”  Clark Lake’s typically blue, clear waters were muddy and stirred up today.

Tucker Boyers captured what it looked like on Ocean Beach Road, near the Beach Bar.

TB 2017 03-08 high winds
Earlier in the day, Flip Reynolds caught the wind pushing huge amounts of water over the dam., unlike last summer when weeks went by with no water passing over.

FR 2017 03-08 high winds at dam ps
Encountering a downed power line can pose a serious safety hazard.  Consumers Energy recommends the following.

·         Stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines and to call 911 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.

·         Be alert to crews working along roads. Drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so they safely can go past workers on roadsides.

·         Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement or near any air intakes, and never fuel a generator when it is running. Operating a generator without proper ventilation can create carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas. If using a generator, contact a licensed electrician to ensure that it is properly connected and make certain it is isolated from the company’s electric distribution system.

·         In some cases, the mast which holds the electric service wires to a customer’s home or business may have been damaged or torn away. Crews will reconnect the wires to a home, but only a licensed electrician can repair or replace a mast or a cable.

Consumers Energy says crews are repairing 3,000 downed wires and replacing 500 broken utility poles.  Ann Swain saw one of those broken poles along Clark Lake Road this afternoon.

AS 2017 03-08 untility pole down
As of 4 p.m., counties most affected by electric interruptions were: Alcona (2,351); Allegan (5,989); Antrim (540); Arenac (754); Barry (6,275); Bay (1,630); Branch (2,776);  Calhoun (9,825); Clare (935); Clinton (2,545); Eaton (4,738); Genesee (17,247); Gladwin (830); Grand Traverse (242); Gratiot (4,027); Hillsdale (3,556); Ingham (6,300); Ionia (9,256);  Iosco (952); Isabella (780); Jackson (18,274); Kalamazoo (16,994); Kent (38,438); Lenawee (9,040); Livingston (2,664); Mecosta (2,818); Midland (5,785); Monroe (4,827); Montcalm (5,722); Newaygo (1,996); Oakland (1,127); Ogemaw (370); Ottawa (2,847); Roscommon (1,870); Saginaw (7,285); Shiawassee (4,169); St. Joseph (1,200); VanBuren (1,874); Washtenaw (1,297)  and Wexford (936).

It takes many years for a tree to grow to maturity.  But it doesn’t take long for one to be felled in weather like today.  These two photos are examples, courtesy of Cara King.  The King’s live on Eagle Point Road.

Cara high winds 2017 03-08 1Cara High winds 2017 03-08 2

High Wind Warning

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning, with gusts up to 65 mph (please see the main page of this website to view a detailed forecast).  Flip Reynolds captured the intensity of this wind as it pushed huge amounts of water over the dam at Ocean Beach.

FR 2017 03-08 high winds 1
As of 12:45 pm, Consumers Energy reported 11,849 customers were with out power in Jackson County.  Across the state, 140,000 experienced outages. Consumers comments “Because of the storm’s duration and statewide impact, some customers in the worst impacted areas may not have power restored until Sunday.”  Today, Ann Swain photographed a utility pole down on Clark Lake Road, more near M-50 than the lake.

AS 2017 03-08 untility pole down
Trees are also prime targets of these high winds.  This photo was also taken along Clark Lake Road.

AS 2017 03-08 tree down
Consumers Energy warns that a downed power line can pose serious safety hazards.  Here are some of their recommendations:

-Stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines and to call 911 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.
-Be alert to crews working along roads. Drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so they safely can go past workers on roadsides.
-If using a generator, contact a licensed electrician to ensure that it is properly connected and make certain it is isolated from the company’s electric distribution system. Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement or near any air intakes, and never fuel a generator when it is running. Operating a generator without proper ventilation can create carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas.
-In some cases, the mast which holds the electric service wires to a customer’s home or business may have been damaged or torn away. Crews will reconnect the wires to a home, but only a licensed electrician can repair or replace a mast or a cable.

If your power goes out and your smart phone is charged, you can report an outage either by dialing 800-477-5050 or by clicking the button on the CE website at this location.  You can also view outage locations on a map that Consumers Energy continually updates.

And courtesy of Flip, here’s one more view of the lake this afternoon.

FR 2017 03-08 high winds 2
Consumers Energy noted these outages around the state.  “As of 12:45 p.m., counties most affected by electric interruptions were: Alcona (2,351); Allegan (4,789); Antrim (1,005); Arenac (710); Barry (8,029); Bay (1,620); Branch (2,236);  Calhoun (11,515); Clare (2,770); Clinton (2,264); Eaton (1,360); Genesee (10,109); Gladwin (1,060); Grand Traverse (457); Gratiot (3,340); Hillsdale (2,674); Ingham (4,239); Ionia (7,002);  Iosco (2,076); Isabella (367); Jackson (11,849); Kalamazoo (6,001); Kalkaska (483); Kent (30,345); Lenawee (2,985); Livingston (1,924); Mecosta (1,478); Midland (6,124); Monroe (1,775); Montcalm (4,292); Newaygo (1,112); Oakland (1078); Ogemaw (1,288); Ottawa (2,993); Roscommon (1,533); Saginaw (5,537); Shiawassee (2,001); VanBuren (2,206); Washtenaw (885)  and Wexford (348).”

Winter’s Brush

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Winter’s brush is still dabbing the Clark Lake landscape.  Bill Leutz reports “morning temperatures in the upper teens resulted in some skim ice today.”  And the “high winds of the last few days created some ice sculpture in the rocks and grasses of the west shore of Eagle Point.”

 FullSizeRender

Photos by Bill Leutz.

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So has winter left for good?  At the moment nature is reluctant to let it go. 

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Weather and Waves

Warm weather brought boats and a skiier to Clark Lake over the last few days.  The weather encouraged those around the lake to look forward to an early spring.  After last night’s storm system made its way through Michigan, the weather returned to what’s more expected at this time of year. With wind and the lake level high, waves pushed lots of water over the dam.  Thanks to Elise Fish who took this short video of it the dam doing its thing today.

First Ski of the Season

It happened today and under interesting circumstances.  Chris and Jessica from Toledo just acquired a new G23 from Boaters Choice in Brooklyn.  And where did they want to give the boat its first workout?    Clark Lake on this February 23rd. 

Andrew Lajdziak, who piloted, said the boat’s water thermometer registered 44 degrees.  He thought the reading might have been overly generous.

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Jessica and Chris are from Toledo and plan to trailer the boat to the Maumee, Irish Hill lakes, up north, and Tennessee.

Chris and Jessica ps

The G23 is manufactured by Correct Craft, and represents a design perfect for wake boarding and surfing. 

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Clark Lake’s Gentle Good Morning

Dawn at Clark Lake can be a special time.  This morning its specialty was gentleness and serenity.  In these photos, thanks to Jill Bentley, we have an artful reminder of it.

 Jill 3 2017 02-23 Jill 4 2017 02-23 ps Jill 1 2017 02-23 ps Jill 2 2017 02-23 ps