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Repair work to part of Edenville dam may begin next week

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Repair workon the Edenville Dam could begin as early as next week.

The dam failedback in May after days of heavy rain, contributing to a 500-year flood event in Midland and Gladwin counties.

The repair project was the subject of an online forum Thursday night hosted by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

State Dam Safety Program Inspector Dan DeVaun says the planned work will only stabilize a portion of the dam, repair a spillway and reroute the Tobacco River away from the dam’s breach.   The project will not replace the whole dam.

“Our goal here was obviously first and foremost to address safety concerns,” DeVaun told the online forum.

Construction may begin as early as November 19.   State officials hope to complete the project mid-February, before the spring thaw leads to rising water levels in the Tittabawassee and Tobacco Rivers.

Several property owners expressed disappointment during the online forum that the state was making a temporary fix rather than repairing the entire dam.

EGLE officials say repairing the Edenville dam is complicated by many factors, including dealing with the dam’s owners and reducing the risk of future flooding events.

Officials say the decision whether or not to replace the Edenville dam is “years down the road.”

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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