Four Lakes Task Force halts purchase of mid-Michigan dams following floods

Task force was set to improve dams before failure

Investigating who is responsible for Edenville Dam failure that led to devastating floods

EDENVILLE, Mich. – A task force that was set to acquire and improve mid-Michigan dams has halted the purchase after dam failures caused historic flooding last week.

About 10,000 people in mid-Michigan were asked to evacuate their homes after multiple dams were breached, causing a major flooding emergency.

The towns of Edenville, Sanford and parts of Midland were evacuated. There were no reported injuries or fatalities due to the flooding, and no reports of anyone trapped by the high water, officials said.

Here is the full statement from the Four Lakes Task Force:

"Recent events related to the Edenville dam failure were terrible and tragic for our community. All of us on the Four Lakes Task Force are devastated by our individual and collective losses, and our hearts go out to everyone who is impacted. The Lake Associations and Counties were in the process of acquiring the dams, with a closing expected, and then to improve the dams to survive historic floods. The acquisition has not and will not take place under the terms that were negotiated with Boyce Hydro this past winter.

"We are reassessing the path forward to acquire the Boyce property and rebuild our dams and lakes. The Four Lakes Task Force is collaborating with the Counties, lake communities and regulatory authorities on the best path forward as we assess the issues and work toward recovery.

"We ask people to please stay off the lake bottoms, until the dam systems and shorelines are evaluated, and it is determined what actions are needed. This is in the interest of everyone’s safety.

"While we do not have all the answers, we are committed to keep you informed and will share more details in the coming weeks, as we have them. We know this is a personal and economic hardship on everyone, and we will not be pursuing funding that would result in an assessment at this time. We will seek other sources of public and private funding.

“Through county resolutions and a Circuit Court Order under Part 307 of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, the legal lake levels are still in effect.”

READ: Investigating who is responsible for Edenville Dam failure that led to devastating floods

“Four Lakes Task Force, as the delegated authority of the counties, is dedicated to returning these lakes to a recreational and natural resource gem of the region,” said Dave Kepler, president of the Four Lakes Task Force. “We will do this with a continued focus on public safety.”

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.