Campground Owner Sees Rare Freeze

February 5, 2014 by   - () Comments Off on Campground Owner Sees Rare Freeze

During the 42 years that Jim Mathis has owned Almond Boat and RV Park, he’s seen Fontana Lake freeze from bank to bank about a dozen times, he told the Smoky Mountain Times.

This is one of those years.

The lake initially froze over around Jan. 6 when Swain County, N.C., experienced a record-breaking overnight minus 1 and a few additional sub-zero nights, Mathis said. Last week’s deep freeze, which saw temperatures drop to near zero at least two nights, kept the ice intact.

“The channel froze over the first day we had single digits,” he said. “When you get into the single digits and usually at night or so, that’s when you will get that skim of ice forming.”

Last week’s snowfall covered the ice, which was one to two inches thick.

“It’s very thin and fragile, and certainly not safe to walk on,” Mathis said.

As of Tuesday (Feb. 4), the ice was no longer complete frozen over, he said.

Mathis noted that in the 1970s, he can remember the ice being 10 to 12 inches thick.

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