2007-04-18 10:24:00.000 – Scot Henley, Executive Director
The challenges continue for the exhausted Observatory crew atop Mount Washington. Wind continues to blast the summit facility from the east, currently above 80 mph with higher gusts. Because of this east wind, extreme accumulation of ice and snow is happening in places that are normallysheltered from the summit’s typical northwest winds.
The “thermo shack”, the small structure that holds thermometers just outside the observation deck level tower door, is completely encased in a tremendous amount of ice, and observer Jim Salge reports that it is in danger ofcollapsing. The east wind has moved our visibility sensor so that it is now facing a different direction, rendering it ineffective. It also loaded up one of the cables that hold the massive steel “A-frame” outside the tower door with ice, so much ice that the cable snapped. The crew has temporarilyrepaired the cable, so the A-frame can still protect the crew from flying chunks of ice. The precipitation can, located about 100 yards away from the Sherman Adams Building’s main entrance, is completely buried in snow andice.
The State Park crew has their hands full with their own set of storm-related problems. The State Park’s Yankee Building has taken a blow from the storm, with a window being broken by flying ice and a door blown in. Water is entering the Sherman Adams Building in a few places.
Morale on the summit is as good as you could expect, given the enormous amount of back-breaking shoveling that has to be done when the snow is drifting in front of most exterior doors relentlessly. Jim described the path from the Sherman Adams main entrance as “1 1/2 shovel widths wide and 7 feet tall.” Yikes.
We’ll post some pics if the staff is able to get down on shift change today. In any event, Jim, Ryan, Brent and our wonderful volunteer Peggy will certainly be happy to pass the baton to the next crew!
Scot Henley, Executive Director