By Mary-Justine Lanyon
“I am exceptionally happy the lake is full but it comes at a cost.”
That was the opening comment from President David Dahl at the March 25 meeting of the Arrowhead Lake Association board of directors.
That cost, as reported by General Manager Bob Mattison, included 111 distressed boats. Of those, 45 sank, 40 were listing or swamped, six capsized, 14 had damage from excess snow and five others suffered other damage. In addition, 65 docks were damaged.
Mattison told the board and members attending the Zoom meeting that Lake Safety had spoken directly with 96 of the owners and left voicemails for others.
All American Dock Pros and Kiwi Docks have teamed up, Mattison said, to “tackle the large workload.” As of March 25, they had cleared snow from or repaired more than 70 docks, gangways and piers.
“Additionally, they have now cleared or fully salvaged 44 boats; six boats have been removed from the lake and five boats are in the ALA marina courtesy dock waiting to be pulled from the lake.”
Mattison added that several other contractors are getting mobilized. One problem, he noted, is a shortage of available trailers for boat removal.
ALA will be collecting data on the flipped docks as to whether they had a rigid canopy or were part of a multiple slip. That, Mattison said, will help the association better understand potential causes for this type of severe dock damage. Contractors plan to tow the flipped-over docks to deep water and use a crane to flip them back over.
“This is the greatest amount of snow Lake Arrowhead has seen,” Mattison said.
To date there have been no reportable hazardous material spills but ALA will continue to monitor the situation. “A boat typically doesn’t start leaking until you start to move it around,” Mattison said. “We will be on site with contractors with hazmat devices.” He noted that runoff from melting snow can contain small amounts of oil, which may result in a sheen on the water.
Mattison cautioned boaters to watch out for any debris in the lake as the season begins. Lake Safety will remove any debris as it is identified but boaters should be on the lookout.
“As I reflected on the severity of the storms and personal hardship for so many people, I also thought about how the storms showed us all the great people we have in our community,” Mattison told the board.
“This includes the doctors and nurses at Mountains Community Hospital who were stranded at the hospital for many days on end but continued to care for patients and work 36-hour shifts before help arrived. It also includes the dedication of ALA staff from our Lake Safety and Maintenance departments, some of whom walked to work to help out during the storms.
“It also includes help neighbors provided to each other and the sense of community we have in Lake Arrowhead. I’m proud to say I live in Lake Arrowhead.”
“I am concerned about the recent destruction caused by the storms,” said Director Bud Macer. “Our intention and duty is to make recovery as expeditious and easy as possible, minimizing cost and red tape.” Macer added the board plans to hold a special meeting at the beginning of April dedicated to addressing storm-related issues.
Director Eran Heissler thanked the ALA staff for doing an “unbelievable job.” And Director Denise Loxton thanked the community “who really came together on this. It shows what a great community we have. I appreciate the positivity that came out of this.”
Vice President Jim Hannon also thanked the staff, saying it couldn’t have been easy for those who trudged through the snow to manage the spillway gates. Some of those staff members, Secretary/Treasurer Alan Kaitz noted, “suffered a severe loss with the homes red-tagged. Other members of the community experienced problems with their homes, fires due to gas. Businesses have been shut down, employees not able to work.
“ALA ought to continue supporting the community,” Kaitz said. “Use the restaurants. It’s time to go overboard with respect to everyone who is a fulltime resident and had to suffer through this. They couldn’t get out of their homes for a week or 10 days and spent hours shoveling. My hearts goes out to these people.”
In the only New Business, the board approved retaining electronic recordings of regular board meetings for a minimum of 60 days so members can access them if the timing of the meetings does not allow them to attend.