Two dams breached in Midland County, Michigan, causing flooding and the evacuation of 10,000 local residents after days of heavy rains. The Edenville Dam and the Sanford Dam both experienced “catastrophic dam failures” affecting the City of Midland about 8 miles downstream of the Sanford Dam. A Dow Chemical plan sits on the City’s riverbank as well. So far no injuries are reported, but there are many challenges associated with opening shelters in the midst of a pandemic. The governor of Michigan urged people to stay with friends or relatives or to go to one of the shelters. The Edenville Dam was built in 1924 and was rated in unsatisfactory condition in 2018 by the state.
An article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer discusses how the era of building massive dams that ended in the late 1960s with the completion of Glen Canyon Dam may be on its way to a resurgence because of booming populations throughout the west and a desperate need for water. This comes at a time when the USBR and other agencies are in the process of tearing down some dams. Of course the environmental hurdles and opposition to new dam projects will likely kill many of the projects before they get started. But in the absence of any kind of limits on population growth, there may not be many other options. Read on to see where major dam projects are being considered. (Photo by Molas)
On December 14, 2005, the upper reservoir of the Taum Sauk pumped storage plant, a hydroelectric power plant in the Missouri Ozarks, suffered a catastrophic failure. The resulting flood severely damaged the Jonhson’s Shut-Ins State Park and swept away the park superintendent and his family. Fortunately all of them survived. (Photos by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and USGS)
Last week, the Missouri Attorney General’s office announced a settlement of $180 million between the facility’s owner, Ameren Corp. The failure reportedly was a result of negligence on the part of the company. More details after the break.