HomeNewsEmergency construction to begin at collapsed Michigan dam

Emergency construction to begin at collapsed Michigan dam

Emergency construction has begun at the Central Michigan dam that collapsed between May 19th and 20th and caused the evacuation of 10,000 people from communities and caused buildings to be ripped off their foundations, smashed and twisted roads and bridges, damaged or destroyed an estimated 2,500 properties, and triggered fears of contamination as it swept by a chemical plant and hazardous waste sites and submerged downtown Midland a city of 40,000 people under 9 feet of water. Excavation work will be done below the Edenville Dam in Midland County, according to state officials.

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The dam failed during a steady rain that drained Wixom Lake and unleashed the Tittabawassee River, which then overwhelmed the Sanford dam, about 225 kilometers north of Detroit. Construction will also be done inside the Tobacco River spillway crest in Gladwin and Midland counties to prepare it for being lowered by 6.4 meters, state officials stated. Lowering the spillway crest is expected to alleviate concerns about the stability of the remaining dam embankment, restore the natural flow to the Tobacco River, reverse negative impacts on natural resources and seek to avoid another major flooding event when the winter snow melts and spring rains arrive.

The emergency construction work at the collapsed Michigan dam site is expected to be completed by February 2022 and US$2.3 million has been approved for the project by Michigan’s Transportation Department and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Federal funds are expected to cover three-quarters of the cost. A temporary causeway bridge also will be built to replace one destroyed by floodwaters. Boyce Hydro Power, the Dam operator who filed for bankruptcy protection blamed the state and residents, accusing them of insisting on high water levels. The dam is classified as a high hazard dam. Another collapse could result in severe downstream flooding, according to the state.

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