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Feds Release Final Forensic Study on 2020 Edenville Dam Failure

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Nearly two years since two dams failed in Gladwin County, causing a 500-year flood, finally, some answers.

A federal forensic engineering team released their final report on the cause and liability that led to the Edenville Dam to break and cause thousands of evacuations.

“I just assumed not to have been in it but we’ve made the best of it,” said Charlie Moore, homeowner on Wixom Lake.

Moore has had a home on the lake for 40 years. His house flooded on May 19, 2020 due to heavy rains but then the nearby Edenville Dam gave out and he’s been missing the water since.

“Somebody should’ve been responsible,” said Moore, “But there’s plenty of blame to go around everybody had some blame in on it.”

That’s essentially the answer from a 502-page federal report released this week. The 100-year old dam was flawed when constructed and years of delayed maintenance and poor operation compounded issues.

“We knew we had problems with the dams but they were getting taken care of,” said Moore, “Worked out pretty good through the years and never worried about a flood.”

Federal inspectors clashed with the dam’s owner before stripping their license in 2018, the state took on oversight of the dam. It was then the state ruled the dam sound and ignored warnings to lower levels.

The May 2020 storm hit and the worst case scenario came, a flood hitting the city of Midland and forcing thousands of homes to be evacuated.

The final report won’t shift any blame and after grants from the government, the homeowners in Gladwin County will carry the cost of repairs. As they wait for their lake homes to be on the lake once again.

“I look forward to driving the lake in a boat,” said Moore.

The most conservative estimate is going to be the spring of 2026 when the dams are fixed and the water should return back to normal.

To read the full final forensic report,

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