Update: Feds warned 20 years about Michigan Dam dangers

Update: Feds warned 20 years about Michigan Dam dangers

Posted on 05/22/2020

Transcript

We have an update to a story we told you about Wednesday.

This week thousands were forced to evacuate Michigan after two dams, Edenville and Sanford, failed causing massive flooding.

The dams failed after heavy rain and flash flooding.

Edenville Dam which failed Tuesday sent floodwaters into downtown Midland, city of more than 40-thousand people.

Now federal documents show federal regulators warned multiple companies for more than 20 years of the dam's inability to handle a large flood.

Documents on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's website show that regulators warned the dam operator in 1999.

The operator was told to expand the spillways but officials say that was never done.

Spillways are structures that allow for floodwaters to safely escape downstream and prevent incidents such as massive flooding.

The company that currently runs the dam, Boyce Hydro, took over its operations in 2004.

But the company lost its license two years ago and a local task force is set to take over the dam in 2022.

Boyce Hydro's attorney wrote two years ago that serious financial problems got in the way of constructing the spillways.

Posted - 5.21.20