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Flooding and snow cause damage at N-Sid-Sen

Water levels of Lake Coeur d’Alene have receded since flooding in March and the roads to access N-Sid-Sen Camp and Conference Center are passable.

There was just one lane in several areas between the camp and St. Maries, Idaho.

Top photo shows the flooded campfire area in front. 

The second photo shows the level of the lake rising to the edge of the chapel below Forrester Lodge.

The third photo is of damage to the boat barn from the weight of the snow collapsing the roof.

The bottom photo shows the pathway cleared to Spirit Lodge.

Photos courtesy of Mark Boyd

“We had 110 inches of snow rather than the usual 60 inches this winter,” said managing director Mark Boyd.

Under the weight of snow, the roof on the boat barn across the highway collapsed on one boat.  The other boat was out for repairs.

A neighbor snowshoeing by the barn reported the damage.  Mark and Buzz Hamm, onsite maintenance supervisor, had to shovel their way to the barn and took pictures.

Mark is consulting on insurance coverage and looking for options for a newer boat and rebuilding the barn. He and Buzz plan to tear down the boat barn and hope there will be insurance to rebuild it.

As water recedes, they have to do considerable cleanup.

“It’s the highest water in the six years I have been here and has remained for an extended period,” he said.

Along the front shore, the water covered the campfire area and came up to the edge of the chapel and over the basketball court.  The campfire logs were tied and chained in place.  Other logs have floated in.  Some will be usable.

“The buildings are high enough that the water did not reach them,” he said.

On the cove side of the camp, one part of the dock broke loose from one piling and spun around and stuck in the mud.  Mark and Buzz have put it back in place.

The swimming docks are moved each year from the inside of the cove to the south side and chained to the boat docks, which are located so that they are protected from stormy weather that usually comes from the south.

The docks rode up the pilings, with just five feet of the pilings above the water.  The level was 10 feet below the Ford cabin.

“With all the water coming out of the mountains and hillsides, it brings more sediment, so the lake is not clear now,” said Mark, who is also concerned because of threats to change environmental protection laws and funding for Super Fund cleanup from mining sediment. 

“The lake is muddy and brown.  Some is normal sediment, butit is quite smelly,” he said.

“Our goal here at this site is to look at overall land management.  Beyond work on the forests, there are two creeks and the waterfront we need to look at and assure that it is managed for future use and for future storms.”

The weather also meant that a few winter camps were canceled because it was hard for people to drive to N-Sid-Sen.

“We plowed and cleared the trails, so we could have accommodated people,” Mark said.

Three camps in January, one in February and one in March were canceled, meaning a loss of money.  Midwinter in March was also canceled.

With a drop in the number of midwinter campers coming to N-Sid-Sen in March when it is cold and snowy, Mark said they plan to host a fall youth event.

For information, call 208-689-3489.


Pacific Northwest Conference United Church of Christ News © April 2017


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