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MIDLAND COUNTY, MI – The Federal Activity Authoritative Agency has ordered the buyer of the Sanford Dam to authorize an absolute assay aggregation to actuate why floodwaters overflowed the structure.
A Wednesday, May 20 letter from David Capka, administrator of the Division of Dam Assurance and Inspections for FERC, directs Boyce Hydro Power, LLC to anatomy the aggregation to “undertake a argumentative assay of the basis account of the overtopping accident to Sanford Dam as able-bodied as any added accidental causes.”
In the letter, Boyce was additionally directed “to absolutely lower the reservoirs abaft Sanford Dam, Smallwood Dam, and Secord Dam in a safe abode as flows recede. You are additionally directed to accomplish a dam assurance analysis of these dams anon and aural 3 canicule afterwards the flows recede.”
Neil Chatterjee, FERC Chairman, said in a account the agency will accelerate a agents architect to the armpit to abetment with the investigation, “when it is adapted and safe to do so.”
During a Wednesday afternoon columnist conference, Midland City Manager Brad Kaye alleged it a dam abortion by their standards, but admiral will not be able to actuate how abundant accident has taken abode until the baptize recedes.
“The water’s advancing at us, and that’s abutting abundant to alarm it a failure,” he said. “What we’re not absolutely abiding of (is) what the anatomy beneath that baptize is, in added words how abundant of it is gone, how abundant of it is still there. That will in allotment behest how the flood responds from this point forward.”
A Michigan Accompaniment Police helicopter was ecology and filming the river and structures Wednesday.
FERC additionally acclaimed they will acquaintance the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Activity apropos the Edenville Dam.
Sanford Dam charcoal intact, Dow shuts bottomward operations in Midland as a precaution
Boyce Hydro additionally owns the Edenville Dam – which bootless Tuesday afternoon – as able-bodied as the Secord and Smallwood dams.
Federal activity regulator’s pulled the Edenville Dam operator’s authorization in 2018 afterwards apropos arose the spillway could not canyon abundant baptize to abstain a abortion amidst a flood.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Activity (EGLE) affected authoritative ascendancy for the 96-year-old Edenville Dam in backward 2018 afterwards its authorization to accomplish hydropower was revoked.
In a 2018 filing, regulators characterized dam buyer Boyce Hydro as chronically non-compliant with authoritative requests to advancement the dam. FERC capital Boyce Hydro buyer Lee Mueller of Las Vegas, Nev. to body added spillways to abate the accident of failure. The dam had six spillways at two sites.
Boyce Hydro “has again bootless to comply” with regulators who capital Mueller to “develop and apparatus affairs and schedules to abode the actuality that the activity spillways are not able to canyon the apparent best flood, thereby creating a grave crisis to the public,” FERC agent secretary Nathaniel Davis wrote.
Residents told to abandon afterwards Edenville Dam abortion in Midland County
Boyce Hydro had agreed to advertise Edenville Dam and three others to a bounded assignment force that hoped to baby-sit aliment and accompany adherence to bondage basin levels afterwards years of animosity amid dam buyer Mueller and beach homeowners.
Mueller acquired the dam in 2004 and awash ability generated by its operations to Consumers Energy.
The Four Lakes Assignment Force active a $9.4 actor acquirement acceding in December to buy Wixom, Sanford, Secord and Smallwood basin bottomlands and the dams that adapt river impoundments from Boyce Trusts, according assignment force administrator Dave Kepler.
The accord was accepted to abutting afterwards this year.
Kepler, a aloft Dow Chemical controlling who owns a home on Sanford Lake, said Boyce Hydro got to a point area it couldn’t accomplish abundant money from ability bearing to awning the amount of dam aliment and upkeep. With accompaniment and canton backing, the assignment force planned to access and advancement the dams to accompany them in band with federal requirements.
According to the assignment force, upgrades were already underway. About $300,000 in aliment were completed in March to the dam’s berth noses, addition walls and the aboideau system. Another $2 actor in upgrades, including the accession of new aboideau hoists and de-icing improvements, were planned abutting winter.
Feds warned years ago Edenville Dam couldn’t handle a celebrated flood
“This has been a longstanding problem,” Kepler said.
A buzz alarm to Boyce Hydro’s Sanford appointment was not anon alternate Wednesday.
Regulators conducted an analysis in October 2018 and activate the Edenville Dam in “fair structural condition,” said EGLE agent Nick Assendelft. “However, we did accept able apropos that the dam did not accept abundant spillway capacity.”
“We had taken administration activity adjoin the dam’s buyer for cartoon bottomward baptize levels afterwards permission and for accident to accustomed assets as a aftereffect of those drawdowns,” Assendelft said. EGLE was advancing added administration adjoin Boyce Hydro at the time of the breach.
“Lack of advance in dam basement is not aberrant in Michigan dams, which accept suffered from deferred aliment over the advance of decades,” Assendelft said. “That, accumulated with the celebrated condensate and flooding, were factors in the Edenville failure.”
Floodwaters were anticipation to aiguille at 38 anxiety forth the Tittabawassee River, added than four anxiety aloft the almanac flood akin of 33.9 anxiety that occurred on September 13, 1986.
The river is accepted to activate falling Wednesday tonight, but abide aloft above flood date until Thursday night. By backward Friday or aboriginal Saturday, the Tittabawassee River should accept alone to basal flood levels, according to the official NOAA river forecast.
Record calamity that bankrupt dam in Midland Canton will beat 1986 level
Bridge destroyed as flood amnion acerbity in mid-Michigan
Pilot captures aeriform footage of roaring baptize as Edenville Dam bursts in Midland County
Flooding abreast city Midland as apparent by drone
Humane Society of Midland Canton on mission to accumulate pets safe during flooding
Michigan DNR acceptable in removing residents, pets in Midland flood zones
M-30 arch destroyed afterwards adjacent dam failure
Michigan National Guard allowance in flood accomplishment efforts in Midland County
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