Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations

The Sanford dam failing at about 7:40 p.m. Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Tiffany Thibodeaux)

Update: Two heirs bought Midland dams as a tax shelter. Tragedy followed.

MIDLAND — The owner of a Gladwin County dam that failed and prompted widespread evacuations Tuesday was cited repeatedly by federal officials for safety violations, including failing to fix spillways used to prevent flooding, records show.

Federal authorities revoked the licenses of owners Boyce Hydro Power LLC in 2018, alleging that it “failed for many years to comply with significant license and safety requirements, notwithstanding having been given opportunities to come into compliance.”

Related: Watch videos, see tweets of flood damage from Edenville Dam failure
​​Related: Midland flooding highlights Michigan’s aging stockpile of neglected dams
Related: Michigan steps up to help residents evacuated by dam break

In court papers and federal records, regulators wrote that Boyce Hydro of Midland had a “history, going back to 2004” of missing deadlines to make repairs on the Edenville Dam that failed.

“That long history of noncompliance ranges from failing to report structural instability to inadequate water quality monitoring — but Boyce Hydro’s failure, in particular, to increase the spillway capacity to address flood risk has raised serious concerns about public safety,” the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission wrote in a federal lawsuit over regulations in 2017.

(Video by Ryan Kaleto)

The dam’s failure following heavy rains prompted a massive evacuation of thousands in mid-Michigan that was ongoing Tuesday night, and torrents of water threatened another dam and triggered the immediate evacuation in and around Midland.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced plans to declare a state of emergency after rising water from heavy rains punched a huge hole in the Edenville dam which holds back Wixom Lake from the Tittabawassee River.

“This is unlike anything we've ever seen before,” Whitmer said during a Tuesday evening press conference. “I feel like I've said that a lot over the last number of weeks, but this truly is a historic event that is playing out in the midst of another historic event and so we need to make sure that we keep our wits about us and work on this together.”

Whitmer said downtown Midland could be under as much as 9 feet of water by noon Wednesday and said the evacuation included parts of south and west Midland but also the Dow Chemical facilities and nearby Thomas and Saginaw townships in Saginaw County.

Residents near the dams have been ordered to move and Whitmer implored them to heed the warnings. “If you are in those areas you must evacuate as soon as possible. Please get somewhere safe now,” she said.

“This is serious and it is time for people to take action to keep themselves safe and to evacuate. We still need thousands of people to take this action,” Whitmer said. “If you have a relative or a friend somewhere else in the state that you can go and stay with please go to their homes.”

Four emergency shelters were set up around Midland and the State Police, the Red Cross and the Michigan National Guard will be providing assistance, she said.

“I don't want anyone to go to bed tonight not knowing how serious the situation is and that it's time to make sure that they evacuate right now,” she said. 

Midland County said weather forecasters are predicting the river will crest Wednesday morning at 38 feet — 4 feet above the highest recorded ever during a flood in 1986. That flood was considered a once-every-500-years flood.

Aerial footage of the Tittabawassee River near Midland showed dramatic flooding of homes, businesses and infrastructure after the dam was breached Tuesday evening. The dam is located in Gladwin County, about 20 miles northwest of Midland.

A man in a quad vehicle splashes through flood waters as the Tittabawasee river continues to rise Wednesday, near Freeland. (Bridge photo by Dale G. Young)

County 911 officials have advised area residents to evacuate immediately. Along with the Edenville dam, two smaller dams — the Smallwood and Sanford dams — also failed, according to the Michigan Democratic Party.

The evacuation covers an area that straddles the Tittabawassee from the Sanford dam to just southeast of Midland and it includes Windover High School and the residential neighborhood west of downtown Midland. 

The Midland area got more than 4 inches of rain over two days ending Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The Edenville dam can store over 21 billion gallons of water, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. It was built in 1925 and is largely used for flood control. It is owned by Boyce Hydro Power, LLC, federal records show.

Records show Boyce Hydro submitted paperwork in 2011 to the Federal Emergency Regulatory Commission for major repairs that were slated to last through 2020.

Instead, federal regulators moved to revoke the company’s license in 2017, writing: “The Edenville dam has a high hazard potential rating, which means a failure of the project’s works would create a threat to human life and/or would cause significant property damage.”  

In 2018, the Federal Emergency Regulatory Commission cited Boyce Hydro for numerous violations including performing “unauthorized dam repairs” and failing to “file an adequate Public Safety Plan”

“Boyce Hydro has a long history of non-compliance with those terms and conditions and with related provisions in the FPA and Commission regulations and orders,” the federal agency wrote on Feb. 26, 2018.

The biggest issue, regulators wrote, was the failure to increase spillway capacity to ensure the dam would not fail during a major flood, records show.

“Current spillway capacity can only pass about 50 percent of the PMF (possible maximum flood) of the Edenville Dam,” federal regulators wrote in a 2018 report.

The revocation of the license prompted litigation that lasted for years. 

Earlier this year, Boyce agreed to sell the dam and others over the next two years for $9.4 million to the Four Lakes Task Force, an authority working for Midland and Gladwin counties.

Bridge left messages late Tuesday night with Boyce Hydro officials that weren’t immediately returned.

Former State Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, wrote on Twitter late Tuesday that “Boyce Hydro needs to be held accountable for the structural failure of these dams. Their consistent disinvestment and fighting with regulators leads to devastation.”

In 2019, state Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, secured $5 million in state grant money to buy and repair dams in Midland and Gladwin counties, money that would help fund the Four Lakes Task Force, Midland County Administrator Bridgette Gransden said. The repairs had not yet been made. 

"Everyone was aware that repairs needed to be made on those dams," Gransden told Bridge late Tuesday. 

At the West Midland Family Center in Shepherd, west of Midland, about two dozen evacuees milled about the parking lot and munched on bagels inside the center to pass the time while they awaited news on the fate of their homes.

They’d fled in a hurry after first responders came knocking on the door Tuesday evening, or driving through the neighborhood in fire trucks with sirens blaring, advising them to leave before the waters came.

Janet Parsons and her son, Sean Parsons, stuffed some clothes, medication and toiletries in two plastic bags, and hit the road. During the 1986 flood, months after Parsons bought her home in Midland near the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee rivers, the water came up to her lawn. But there was a key difference in 1986: The dams held.

Jack Lehman rests after a long fight to hold back the rising food waters of the Tittabawasee River at his home near Freeland on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. His son Jim rests on a tool and stares helplessly at the rising waters in the background.  Lehman owns a small nursery across River Road from his home. (Bridge photo by Dale G. Young)

This time, Parsons is expecting the waters to do more damage. 

“I just hope we don’t lose everything,” she said. 

She and others evacuated before the floodwaters arrived, and had no idea whether their homes would stay dry through the night. As they talked, they scrolled cellphones, watched social media video footage and read news reports. 

How many dams have failed? Where is the power out now? Which roads are passable? Did animal control officers manage to get to the house and retrieve dogs they left behind? 

Carla Sexton wondered if she could get to her doctor’s appointment Wednesday afternoon in downtown Midland?

The Edenville resident, 58, has been in and out of the hospital with blood clots in her legs and lungs. Now, she doesn’t know whether she’ll have a home by the morning.

“I just keep telling myself it’ll all work out,” she said. But given all the bad things she said she had heard about the structural integrity of Edenville and Sanford dams, she’s not so sure.

Greg Dorrien, executive director of the Midland Family Center, said poor maintenance at Edenville has been a source of community anxiety for years. When the Four Lakes Task Force took it over, residents were hopeful the dams would receive needed upgrades.

“Unfortunately," he said, "I think this flood happened before they could finish.” 

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Doby Joe
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:43pm

There you go Big Gretch- after the dam breaks is the perfect time to declare an emergency! It would have been great to declare an emergency before, but you are indeed the victim here and there are a bunch of excuses that people below will now provide for you acting after the dam breaks to do something.

Give it up
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:39pm

Oh that's rich, a female governor crying for a state emergency before a disaster. You don't even support her declaration of an emergency after it's declared and criticize her for calling it too late. Face it, you and your ideologies are failures. Where were Schuette, Stamas during all this, too far in deep with their benefactors?

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 3:51pm

I agree, she can't win even when senator stamas has his dirty fingers all over this.

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 5:32pm

Three dams??? Wow, I thought if there were several dams the likelihood of more than one breaching was small. People, we must shut down dams that are not being maintained, same with roads, bridges, etc.

Bobby Joe
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:47pm

Yet another failure by the bureaucracy to properly run their agencies. The CDC, FDA, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission- they all are blowing at doing their jobs. Their budgets go up every year but their performance goes down because of mission creep and lack of accountability. And before TDS strikes, this is a bipartisan issue failure that hits both Republican and Democratic administrations alike, mostly because the majority of bureaucrats are Democrats. Regardless, this dam failure is yet another example of the failures of the Deep State to properly do their jobs.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:35pm

Yes, those are federal agency under Trump, a failure as a president, but in an ideal world we don't need government, right? Private property owners will take care to protect their property, right? MAGA, let's get a new president.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 1:13pm

I understand you are upset...please relax.
Your statement makes no sense.

Deny Deflect
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:12pm

Booby Joe is just trying to deflect and change the subject like Trumpy does all the time.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:14am

So how I understand it, it went something like this.
BoycePower: here's a proposal to fix the dams.
FERC: No, we're denying your proposal to fix the dams because the dams are in disrepair and it would be risky to repair them.
Also FERC: You know, we're just going to have your license pulled so you can't do or fix anything whatsoever.

Logic. It would appear an attempt was made to remedy the disrepair of the dams, but rather than work within Boyce Power's financial and manpower means, the fed thought it better to outright prevent them from repairing anything? Sounds like our company's dealings with the FDA, and people wonder why companies hate federal regulation.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:41pm

Nice spin, but that's not what the article says. Save that for court. This disaster and your explanation are all I need to justify shutting down Line 5 NOW!

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 1:02pm

That's a convenient way to ignore the years and years of neglect by the owner before the Feds stepped in to revoke the license, but why would small gubmit yahoos ever give an honest account of any situation?

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:13pm


Rick Raisen
Thu, 05/21/2020 - 6:57pm

Or build it stronger and better.

If you shut it down now, then the cost of heating homes goes up and those on fixed incomes or with less discretionary income are hit the hardest- that might be a price that rich people are willing to win a clear conscience, but I don't think it's fair to push costs onto poor and elderly people. Or, the oil and natural gas will be transported using ships or rail or trucks, all of which have a higher likelihood of leading to an environmental issue- but then again, the goal isn't to actually protect the oil but instead to make the proper religious sacrifices to secure your position in the utopia of the Green God.

On the other hand, if the pipeline were built stronger and better, poor people could heat their homes and the natural gas and oil would be transported safely to it's destination. So that's one way to go.

William C. Plumpe
Fri, 05/22/2020 - 12:38pm

Private owner still responsible.
Bought dam as a cash cow investment and did nothing to fix the dam so as to maximize cash in. The owner should be sued until bankrupt and if possible criminally prosecuted.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 3:17am

"In 2019, state Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, secured $5 million in state grant money to buy and repair dams in Midland and Gladwin counties, money that would help fund the Four Lakes Task Force" Seems the power companies no longer want the dams

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:10pm

Yeah, because they used them up until they were a liability. Now We the People need to pay for the damages.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 3:26am

Oops . Seems state and local tax payers are getting lined up to get stuck paying for maintaining dams the power companies no longer want to maintain lakefront cottages for wealthy people.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 4:16pm

I'm sure that makes sense in your head, but you might want to translate it into English.

So angry
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 3:47am

Just what we need during a pandemic when we have no place to go. We are literally spending TRILLIONS of dollars to keep people home when they could be working outdoors fixing our damn infrastructure. GD Trump promised us he would Make America Great Again. He used to harp about his GD wall and Mexico paying for it, instead he decided to cage children. He NEVER talks about fulfilling his GD campaign promises to fix our national infrastructure. He is such a liar.

Why is Wall Street always too big to fail, but Main Street can be ignored? The nation's public infrastructure, which consists of bridges, waterways, airports, railroads, drinking-water systems and wastewater systems, is gravely in need of maintenance and repairs. Ours is like a third world country. We can't just keep blaming Obama after three and a half years of Trump in office, like Trump so fondly likes to do when he talks about the depleted Strategic National Stockpile. "Strategic" in only a word he thinks about in terms of campaigning to be reelected to continue to do nothing for four more years. He has been a lame duck president from the beginning, pretending to be castrated by Moscow Mitch. They both need to take responsibility. We have government by kleptocrats and their enablers have been in power too long. They only care about themselves while appeasing dictators and oligarchs around the world.

Republicans Lie
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 4:29am

"Private property owners have an interest in maintaining their property, the government doesn't."

"We are over regulated."

"We need to deregulate."

"We are being regulated to death."

"See, regulation didn't work. Otherwise this wouldn't have happened."

"This was unforeseeable."

"No one could have expected this."

"Why didn't the government shut they down? The government is broken."

"The answer is LESS government, not MORE government."

"The free market will take care of this."

"Don't blame me, it's an Act of God. Blame God."

"Blame the government."

"Blame Democrats."

"Reelect Jim Stamas."

"The government knew the damn was failing. Why didn't the government fix it or buy it?"

"The governor's a tyrant. She's trying to take our guns. It's her fault."

"Don't Tread on Me."

It's time to stop believing the Republican do-nothing party of liars. There is a way to fix our privately-owned critical infrastructure. It's call incarceration, criminal sanctions. Ask billionaire Matty Moroun how effective it is. It's not perfect, but it gets attention.

We can do better. Time to vote out the weak-minded Republicants. All these poor people are homeless now because someone put profit over safety. It's always the same story, profits over people.

Killing us softly
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 4:32am

This is the same story we will hear when Line 5 fails and all the other disasters waiting to happen or have happened, like the green ooze, the PFAS, etc. Midland where Dow Chemical is? Do we even know what piles of chemicals have been mixed with the flood waters? How will this affect lake properties already affected by record high water levels? How many other damn are in the same condition?

Private companies have piles of chemicals stored in the open in cities around the state. Bridge should do a story on what exactly is in that Midland flood water.

Before catastrophe
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 5:41am

We don't have money to fix the problem.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 3:52pm

You forgot and we don't care, "we" as in the GOP.

After castastrophe
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 5:42am

We don't have money to fix the problem. This is no time to be political.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 6:14am

This is what happens when you focus the media on phony risks - like Enbridge Line 5 - to the exclusion of real risks.

Prove it or lose it
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:19pm

Red herring, they are both risks. Anything not up to standards needs to be shutdown immediately.

Excuse me
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:21pm

You are using a disaster to excuse an impending disaster? What reality is that?

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:22pm

This is all Nessel needs as evidence to shut down Line 5 immediately. You can build your tunnel Enbridge as long as you shut down Line 5 NOW.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 6:14am

Mr. Stamas, Ms Allor, how are the damns on the Ausable River? Are you doing your jobs?

mary therese lemanek
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 6:47am

"Citing" the owners for years in the absence of any real consequences is obviously useless. Like so many crises, this was predictable and preventable.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:24pm

Agreed, throw them in jail

Drown government
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 6:47am

"My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." Republican Lobbyist, Grover Norquist

I guess regulating dams is nonessential to Stamas. How about paying people to fix our infrastructure?

Stamas calls for layoffs of nonessential state employees due to budget impact of COVID-19 emergency
Posted on April 13, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas on Monday said he’s extremely worried about the state’s budget as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the excessively restrictive “Stay Home, Stay Safe” lockdown order extended by Gov. Whitmer.

The Michigan Department of Treasury has estimated the impact on the current 2020 state budget will be between $1 billion and $3 billion, with another $1 billion to $4 billion hole in next year’s budget.

“We are facing a serious financial challenge, and we need to consider all options to adjust our spending — such as cuts to popular programs and laying off nonessential state employees, including those in the Legislature,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “The state is doing everything it can to address the global COVID-19 pandemic, but we also must soon make the hard decisions to address its tremendous impact to our economy and state budget. The longer we wait to act, the deeper the cuts will need to be.

“I encourage the governor to deploy nonessential state employees to assist with unemployment claims instead of hiring more people and layoff any nonessential workers who cannot help people file unemployment claims.”

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency announced it is hiring hundreds of workers to handle the record number of claims filed during the COVID-19 emergency.

Earlier this month, Gov. Whitmer issued executive directives freezing hiring in state government and stopping discretionary state spending.

The fiscal year 2020 budget started on Oct. 1, 2019. The Legislature is now required to send the governor the FY 2021 budget by July 1. The FY 2021 budget begins on Oct. 1 of this year.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 7:39am

Guess there's too much attention on the Trump Virus.

Hail Trump!
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 7:54am

The over the top Governor is forcing people from their homes because of fake flooding!
When will someone stop her socialism? I suggest armed protesters gather below the third failing dam and hold the water back with their automatic weapons as it is obviously liberal Chinese water infiltration.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:27pm

But they're busy getting their hair cut in Lansing. LOL

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 3:58pm

Hail, time for a revolution, against people like you, GOP enablers!

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 6:59pm

Look, the only person responsible for this dam breaking was George W Bush and his actions to target the people of New Orleans by blowing up the levees. That's who we should all be pointing our fingers at.

David Frederick
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 8:39am

I thought privatization of everything was supposed to solve all problems

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:28pm

We'll see after we privatize Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, still working out the kinks. LOL

Jillian Wallis
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 8:48am

I have family in the area and had heard that local residents had also voted down funding to repair the dams. I'm not sure if that is accurate but if it is that could have changed the outcome. I lived in the area during the 1986 flood, I can't imagine what 4 feet above that will do to the area. Be safe!

Smart Voters
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:30pm

The voters were suppose to pay for the repairs of dams owned by private companies? I guess that would be a sweet gig if you can get it.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 8:50am

Two dams failed. No excuses for this.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 9:10am

We can find all kinds of great excuses
Excuse # 1
Nobody wants to take care if infrastructure. My taxes are too high.
Excuse #2
Businesses aren’t supposed to responsible for the safety of their customers.
Excuse #3
Why does the government have to get involved? There should be no rules. I don’t see anything in the constitution about dams.
Excuse # 4
Citizens are too worried about other more important things like gun control to be caught up in dam hysteria.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:02am

Senator Stamas, do you still think we need more deregulation?

Vote him out
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:37pm

This should be a Peter Lucido moment for Jim Stamas, shameful.

Had enough
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 9:15am

Whitmer needs to stop! Michigan's economy has been wrecked bad enough by the bogus extended shutdown, no need to start flooding the state also. Enough!

This is very bad
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:41pm

I think Midland deserves the representatives it has. They have to get the answers they deserve and decide if a recall is in order.

MollyDod MI
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 9:49am

It is so devastating to watch the 2 dam failures near Midland MI.
How can these 2 structures be own by private entities? The safety and well being of citizens in our State can’t be left to private individuals to maintain The upkeep and safety of the dams. The owners have been sited for years for neglecting the structure, putting 100’s of citizens in the spillway near Midland in danger.
Earthen dams have long been known to be structurally unsafe and require intense maintenance. Past history has shown this to be true; the Kelly Barnes Dam failed in Stephens County, Georgia and the Johnstown flood in PA.
Our Prayers go out to the many citizens living, rescuing, care for people involved in this MI disaster.

Easy Ans
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 3:57pm

Someone got payola.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 4:42pm

"How can these 2 structures be own by private entities?" The same reason the prisons are run (badly) by private agencies and the charter schools are run (badly) by private agencies - "gov't is horrible and needs to be drowned in a bathtub" thinking. Plus the little gov't that is left must make sure that the 1% has its money and it is doing so by privatizing these necessary societal resources. Now the fed govt wants to privatize the post office. The US has become a third world country with the failing infrastructure, incompetent/corrupt gov't and economic inequality. Mr. Reagan, Grover Norquist, Newt Gingrich, et. al - you got what you wanted and the people are paying the price.

Paul Jordan
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 10:48am

Businesses can be trusted to look after their own financial interests, not our interests or safety. This is a clear case in point. Boyce Hydro Power knew their dams were unsafe, but were not forced to make them safe. They will now undoubtedly declare bankruptcy to protect their owners, while those citizens whose lives are being devastated by the company's neglect will be out of luck unless they had flood insurance.

Corporations cannot be trusted to protect the public interest on their own, any more than an athlete can be trusted to play by the rules without a referee. We need strong governments that are controlled by the People, not corporate interests.

The climate is changing, and one way or another it is effecting the lives of everyone on earth. We folks in Michigan have been blessed with more fresh water than any place else on earth, and now we are being cursed with more water than we can handle.

It is still not too late--but we are getting closer and closer to the tipping point. It will be far cheaper now for us to take the painful steps to reduce our output of greenhouse gases than to deal with the consequences of continuing with business as usual.

Lies uncovered
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:29pm

I agree with you, but everything you say contradicts what "conservatives" have been telling us for years. Private property rights are supposed to be superior because the owners have a vested interest in protecting them. We have to stop drinking the Koolaid guys from Midland have been selling us, guys like Bill Schuette. It's always the same story PRIVATIZE PROFITS and SOCIALIZE LOSSES/ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE.

Enough is enough. Vote them out. Yes, Senator Stamas, you too!

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:06am

That's what dams do eventually they fail. Don't like it? Don't build them. Don't buy home on dam pond either unless you're happy with distant river frontage. Next stop is sticking taxpayers with all these costs to avoid the inevitable.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:30pm

They need to be maintained, if not, don't privatized them.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:54pm

How do you write such objectively stupid comments and expect the rest of us to take you seriously?

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:49pm

Oh, that's because Matt is a sociopath. He probably likes to kill kittens for fun.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 4:17pm

Matt's comments are the kind a sociopath would make.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:14am

A disaster waiting to happen. Then it happened.

Kinda like pipelines, you know, pipelines under Lake Superior, etc.

When you check pipelines near you (we're near the Wolverine Pipeline) it's always interesting to find there's an LLC (Limited Liability Company) holding it. And when you try to find out how and what kind of liability insurance they have no one will tell you or allow you to know.

That's because there's a small amount and it would be ugly or embarrassing if too many citizens find out. And they'd figure out who is going to end up paying for a mess - us taxpayers. 'Privatize profits, socialize costs'. Again.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:32pm

You mean you don't trust Enbridge?

William C. Plumpe
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:34am

Are Republicans going to complain again about "Too much government control"?
This is obviouly a lack of proper controls. I guess government controls do help.
I don't know who dropped the ball but since Republicans don't like regulations I'd blame the Federal government for not pressing to get the dams fixed sooner. And what about eight years of Snyder?

John S.
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:58am

It is a fair bet that state and/or federal authorities and any claimants for tort damages won't get $.10 out of the company.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 4:06pm

I agree only because it's completely true and there's a long history of it, promises not kept. Sadly it's usually our most "Christian" legislators who prop up these lying stealing murderous companies while pretending they are Pro Life church-goers, Eh Jim, Bill? Any thoughts and prayers from John Moolenaar yet?

William C. Plumpe
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:40pm

Are Republicans going to complain again about "Too much government control"?
This is obviouly a lack of proper controls. I guess government controls do help.
I don't know who dropped the ball but since Republicans don't like regulations I'd blame the Federal government for not pressing to get the dams fixed sooner. And what about eight years of Snyder?

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:42pm

I can't believe all the comments here supporting the criminals who wrecked havoc on Midland.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:43pm

These rickety dams prove we are damned by the GOP.

GOP Sucks
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:54pm

I guess it's too sensitive of a time to demand accountability, right? That's what we hear after every disaster.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 4:08pm

I don't know, anyone hear from Stamas, Moolenaar?

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 1:00pm

Critical infrastructure should not be privately held. Full stop. It should not take preventable catastrophes like this to understand that public goods like dams and bridges must be collectively owned, but here we are, with tens of thousands displaced, easily tens of millions in damages, and a chemical plant leaking toxic waste into the floor waters.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 1:00pm

Critical infrastructure should not be privately held. Full stop. It should not take preventable catastrophes like this to understand that public goods like dams and bridges must be collectively owned, but here we are, with tens of thousands displaced, easily tens of millions in damages, and a chemical plant leaking toxic waste into the floor waters.

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 1:06pm

This is obviously the Orange Man's fault, and the only person who can fix it is Frau Whitler and her team of stasi pigs!

Waiting for it
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 3:54pm

But but dams create jobs. We the People should pay to rebuild it and turn it over to a private company because "they know how to run it like a business". LOL