Dam that overflowed in Michigan reportedly had long history of federal violations

The flooding forced evacuations

Michigan flooding
Flooding in Sanford, Michigan
(Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)
Last Updated:
May 21, 2020 - 7:49am

A hydroelectric dam in Michigan that overflowed during flooding this week in Michigan reportedly was the focus of federal safety investigations and lost its license two years earlier.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says the Boyce Hydro Power’s history of violations lasted throughout the 14 years the company was authorized to run the Edenville dam, according to the Associated Press. 

The federal agency reportedly raised repeated concerns about whether the dam could prevent flooding during extreme conditions, citing inadequate spillway capacity.

The central Michigan dam, along the Tobacco and Tittabawassee rivers, was among several barriers Tuesday overtaken by floodwater, amid warnings by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that the city of Midland could be under 9 feet of water. 

Whitmer says the state will investigate the dam operators.


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