2020 Midland dam break

Articles

Edenville Dam owners file for bankruptcy, blaming regulators for floods

Edenville Dam owners file for bankruptcy, blaming regulators for floods

August 4, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

Facing a host of lawsuits, companies that operated the dams that failed during historic flooding seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, using the filing to list a litany of grievances against federal regulators and neighbors.

Edenville Dam inspector: ‘People want to point fingers,’ but I did my best

Edenville Dam inspector: ‘People want to point fingers,’ but I did my best

August 3, 2020 | Kelly House

Michigan is adding a third dam inspector as part of reforms following the failure of the Edenville Dam that caused $200 million in damages. One inspector who oversaw the dam defends the state’s actions, saying “There’s no ‘Easy’ button, or we would have pushed it.” 

 Legal claim blames federal regulators for Edenville Dam failure

Legal claim blames federal regulators for Edenville Dam failure

July 22, 2020 | Kelly House

In a claim filed this week, a Sanford couple whose home was destroyed in the floodwater argues federal regulators never should have granted Boyce Hydro a license to generate power at the Edenville Dam.

Michigan lawmakers to fed regulators: You blew it on Edenville Dam

Michigan lawmakers to fed regulators: You blew it on Edenville Dam

June 23, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members are hauled before a Senate panel to answer why it took so long to act against a dam with decades of safety issues.  Levying fines would have been like “getting blood from a turnip,” one regulator says.

Feds skipped check of whether Edenville Dam owner could afford repairs

Feds skipped check of whether Edenville Dam owner could afford repairs

June 22, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Federal regulators tell Congress it never performed a check on Boyce Hydro’s finances before it bought a dam in need of repairs. They blame a loophole that says such checks aren’t necessary for dams bought out of foreclosure. The dam failed in May.

Whitmer administration names outside team to probe Edenville dam failure

Whitmer administration names outside team to probe Edenville dam failure

June 18, 2020 | Kelly House, Mike Wilkinson

After criticism from experts and others who argued the state should not lead an investigation into what caused the dam failure that flooded mid-Michigan last month, the state announced an independent six-person team

Judge: Edenville Dam still poses ‘grave risk,’ needs immediate inspection

Judge: Edenville Dam still poses ‘grave risk,’ needs immediate inspection

June 16, 2020 | Kelly House

A U.S. District Court judge has ordered the Edenville Dam’s owner to report back by Friday with a plan to take “immediate action” if lingering damage to the dam’s Tobacco River side poses an ongoing risk to the public.

Corrected: Michigan knew of Edenville dam issues in August 2019

Corrected: Michigan knew of Edenville dam issues in August 2019

June 16, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

The owner of the failed Edenville dam claimed it lacked money to make needed safety upgrades. Instead of demanding flood repairs, state lawyers played hardball on the cost of dead mussels.

Crises collide: Flood recovery workers carried COVID-19 to Michigan

Crises collide: Flood recovery workers carried COVID-19 to Michigan

June 11, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

19 workers who came to Michigan to work on flood recovery projects in the Midland region have tested positive for COVID-19 but subsequently left the state. Local health officials believe “one or two” of the workers were symptomatic before they came to Michigan.

Edenville Dam owner claims Michigan regulators to blame for flooding

Edenville Dam owner claims Michigan regulators to blame for flooding

June 10, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

One day after Michigan sued the owners of the Edenville Dam for millions, Boyce Hydro claims in court papers the state repeatedly blocked permits for repairs that could have prevented massive flooding in mid-May.

Neighbors of Edenville Dam don’t want state investigating its failure

Neighbors of Edenville Dam don’t want state investigating its failure

June 9, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Riley Beggin

The same day Michigan sued owners of troubled dams whose failures sparked a catastrophic flood in Midland, nearby property owners call for an independent investigation. The residents say the state is misstating facts about its failure to regulate the dams.

Midland failed dams, floods caused $200M in damages to 2,500 buildings

Midland failed dams, floods caused $200M in damages to 2,500 buildings

June 8, 2020 | Riley Beggin

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer revealed the estimates on Monday while announcing she is seeking a federal major disaster declaration. Just 8 percent of homes damaged had flood insurance, local officials estimated.

After Edenville Dam fail, five other Michigan dams may pose lethal danger

After Edenville Dam fail, five other Michigan dams may pose lethal danger

June 5, 2020 | Kelly House, Mike Wilkinson

Five state-regulated dams listed as high-hazard and in poor condition could kill people and cause widespread damage if they fail, according to the state. They are located throughout the state.

After devastating flood, Sanford Lake homeowners face new threat

After devastating flood, Sanford Lake homeowners face new threat

June 4, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

More than two weeks after dam breaks and a flood, new woes have emerged in mid-Michigan where erosion threatens homes along the shoreline of Sanford Lake just northwest of Midland.

After Midland floods, a question: Where did waters carry toxic chemicals?

After Midland floods, a question: Where did waters carry toxic chemicals?

June 3, 2020 | Kelly House

Scientists and environmental activists say they’re hopeful recent floodwaters didn’t undo years of work to clean up dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River, but they’re awaiting sampling results to know for sure.

Congress launches probe of Michigan, federal oversight of failed Midland dam

Congress launches probe of Michigan, federal oversight of failed Midland dam

June 2, 2020 | Riley Beggin

A U.S. House committee opens an investigation into last month’s failure of two Midland dams, one of which had been flagged for decades as unsafe by federal regulators.

Before and after satellite photos show damage wrought by mid-Michigan floods

Before and after satellite photos show damage wrought by mid-Michigan floods

June 2, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

New satellite images, taken one year apart, contrast what Edenville and Sanford dams looked like before and after floods, as state and federal investigators investigate their failure.

How weak regulations failed to prevent catastrophe at notorious Midland dam

How weak regulations failed to prevent catastrophe at notorious Midland dam

May 31, 2020 | Kelly House, Riley Beggin

Regulators warned for 25 years that mid-Michigan dams were dangerous, yet their problems persisted. Dam safety experts say the failure to fix the dams is emblematic of the country’s broken regulatory system.

Michigan should have protected public from unsafe Edenville Dam, experts say

Michigan should have protected public from unsafe Edenville Dam, experts say

May 31, 2020 | Riley Beggin

Michigan officials say they needed to wait for a report before demanding repairs to a dam that federal authorities had already deemed dangerous. Experts disagree: ‘You have to take action, not wait.’

Opinion | Michigan EGLE can’t be trusted to probe its role on dam failures

Opinion | Michigan EGLE can’t be trusted to probe its role on dam failures

May 30, 2020 | Michael Pitt

A lawyer involved in the Flint water crisis argues Gov. Gretchen Whitmer should order an independent investigation into the state environmental agency’s role in the Midland-area dam disaster.

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