Michigan Dam(s) Fail! Tittabawassee River.

Michigan Dam(s) Fail! Tittabawassee River.

Overview of the Boyce Hydro System and What we know so far.
Drone Footage from 19 May:

Tittabawassee River Flood Stage:

FERC vs. Boyce Hydro:



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69 Responses

  1. Stephanie Pittaluga says:

    I thought of you as soon as I saw this yesterday! So glad you are covering

  2. Ann Harvey says:

    Seriously….most excellent coverage, explanation, visuals concerning this unfortunate situation 👍

  3. Mark Lambert says:

    More worried about DOW Chemical.
    There’s a huge chemical production dual plant area down stream of all of this.
    I literally just picked up a load there on Monday night.
    And it was raining 🌧 like Noah’s flood on Monday evening about 18:00 🕕

  4. R Chin says:

    Need better infrastructure folks!!! Less frou-frou!
    Similar issue with the Oroville dam that had deferred maintenance.

    • bob mar says:

      The government should not be in the business of building and operating dams. This should be done by the free market. #MAGA

  5. Kimmy Middleton says:

    I live in Michigan, in this general vicinity. I live SO CLOSE in fact, that my son called me crying yesterday asking if I was ok. (MY son, by the way, is 31). It’s pretty bad here. So surprised you covered this!! I’ve lived in the Sanford, Edenville area for the last 30 years.🙏🙏💙

    • Bill Karle says:

      @Ralfie Not in that area. It’s called the Saginaw Valley for a reason. The highest thing around for probably 100 miles was the ski hill at Bintz Apple Mountain Ski Resort, known affectionately as Bintz’s Bump. It had a whopping……..wait for it……..220′ vertical elevation drop. You literally skied across the irrigation pond at the bottom.

    • Ralfie says:

      Bill Karle
      Well, I wasn’t talking about mountains! To me, a 220’ rise would be a hill, but if it’s the only one around, then it’s not rolling hills for sure.

    • Dan Davenport says:

      @Kimmy Middleton What about Gonzaga Basketball? Go Zags!

    • Kimmy Middleton says:

      @Bill Karle 😀😂

    • Kimmy Middleton says:

      @Dan Davenport 😀💖💙

  6. cbale2000 says:

    According to Midland County officials as of ~3pm (EST) 5/20/2020, the Sanford dam may still be somewhat intact but they can’t tell because it’s underwater (they’re using the term “failed” because it’s spilling over, not necessarily because the structure has collapsed). Latest images of the Sanford dam appear to show overflow limited to the emergency spillway area. The current hope is that the dam itself will hold long enough for the upstream flow from the Wixom lake breach to recede. If the Sanford dam fails, areas downstream are looking at 500-year flood levels. Local and state police have already begun staging in a number of downstream areas, presumably to facilitate evacuations if the dam fails.

    • jefft4303 says:

      Per recent video, Sanford’s done. Topping and heavy erosion both sides of main spillway, and most of the entire western reach, housing the emergency spillway is GONE, E. spillway abutments and all.

      Video from the toe of the dam prior to failure shows the E. Spillway functioning normally. Presumably, the crest from the Edenville failure simply overloaded all components at Sanford.

    • cr01 says:

      @Andrew Snow That’s Sanford Dam all right, comparing the aerial view at 0.01 seconds with Google Satellite View. And not only the emergency spillway, but all the rest of the dam from there to the west end of the dam at the western shore, has disappeared under the water. And, the water level ‘below’ the dam is the same as the level ‘above’ the dam. It’s gone, as you say. It is an ex-dam.

    • hay woods says:

      @kamryn foster But people should not make houses where they can flood.

    • Andrew Snow says:

      Here are two additional videos of the Sanford Dam failing:
      In the first, you can see that nearly 100% of the dam is overtopped, but major failure has not yet occurred. In the second video, major sections have washed away. Although, the emergency spillway still appears intact (not that that helps in any way).
      It’s worth noting that in these videos there appears to be little if any debris caught on the control gates. The video of the aftermath showed a lot of debris clogging the gates. From these videos it appears that debris didn’t factor in the dam being overtopped. The debris must have come after the dam had already failed.

      Also worth noting, the Edenville Dam was NOT overtopped. As the following video shows, the soil got so saturated (it appears there was pipping) that the dirt just slid off the back of the dam opening a large hole:

      Finally, this video of a third dam, the Smallwood Lake Dam:
      I believe this dam is still standing, although the erosion and emergency repairs that can be seen in the video show that it was a close call.
      This dam was reinforced with a lot of sheet pile at some point. I think it’s likely it would have failed without this. Notice at 0:56 how the sheet pile extends way back from the face of the dam. This protects that flank of the dam from the emergency spillway flow. Good on whoever engineered the sheet pile upgrade.

    • Angus Beef says:

      hay woods But your insurance company will up your insurance for this you can believe that! Insurance is the biggest scam ever OK maybe the second biggest femur!!femur is the biggest scam

  7. Random Shiz says:

    You did an amazing job pronouncing names of these rivers and lakes not being from Michigan.

    • Gloria Hanes says:

      My French name is Chardonnais, Irish name is Nolan, and the German name is Strauss. The English name is not recorded…still researching. This lineage is on my father’s side of the family.

    • hay woods says:

      @Gloria Hanes Do you own the camp?

    • Kenneth Carroll says:

      Gloria Hanes of course it is not in our history books. We wrote our own history books and never appreciated such great traditions and people

    • Gloria Hanes says:

      @Kenneth Carroll …His tribe owned 1/2 of the Upper part of Michigan, but lost his share of it during the Great Depression for back taxes. He had constructed the Ojibway Hotel and many other structures in the Upper part of Michigan.

    • Gloria Hanes says:

      @hay woods …No, what my ancestor owned he lost during the Great Depression for back taxes. Many buildings and structures he had created in the Upper part of Michigan including the Ojibway Hotel.

  8. Gary Fetting says:

    The Northern part of lower Michigan (West Branch, Tawas, etc.) had just received between 5-8″ of rain the night before.

  9. boostdemon says:

    Heard about this yesterday but I was waiting for Juan to gives us the facts rather than listen to the news.

  10. Raymond Jones says:

    I’m glad you are covering this Juan!…not seeing much coverage on it… I’m definitely interested in this!…thank you very much! 😊😊

    • Cementer says:

      Why hasn’t the governor of Michigan issued a “stay in your banks” order for the river?

    • tom h says:

      Cementer Lol!! Good question!

    • Cat W says:

      Agreed, Raymond, I’m in the Chicago burbs and knew that you had flooding and dams threatened but the news is more like the usual sensational stuff. Had no idea how bad things were and getting the degree of how bad from Youtube.

    • Lauren Brawt says:

      It’s all over the news is scary here so many peoples homes are completely gone

    • Raymond Jones says:

      @Lauren Brawt yes..I’ve seen some coverage this morning…what worries me is that a lot if the majority of folks probably aren’t insured for this…

  11. David Scott says:

    I just wish that you could fly the mighty luscombe up there and get the real report! 👍😁

    • Fredric Underhill says:

      David Scott,
      You are correct. For years, electeds and bureaucrats have looked a preparedness such dams breaking and pandemics and retirement funding as a cookie jar to be raided with impunity. Well, there are real needs and no funding.

    • David Scott says:

      @Fredric Underhill
      Exactly! Their cookies are going to cost many people their lives.

    • Fredric Underhill says:

      David Scott
      This would be an excellent time to fly The Mighty Luscombe to expose the weaknesses as explained below

    • David Scott says:

      @Fredric Underhill
      Yes! If we could just get Juan enough funding to fly around the country and point out areas of concern. I wonder how Juan would feel about this? Hey Juan, would you want to do this if the funds could be obtained?

    • Robert Davis says:

      @Fredric Underhill We have 4 dams right around me here in Pennsylvania (I’m originally from Midland) and only the one State owned dam has been fixed/repaired/upgraded to the latest spillway specs. All of the private dam owners are haggling about who should pay for the upgrades while one is already seeping around the spillway by ultrasonic testing!

  12. mo·dus ope·ran·di says:

    Saw this video as a recommendation to watch and immediately said that sounds like something blancolirio should cover.
    Without realizing it was your video.

  13. Braden Mitchell says:

    Routine complacency. A term often experienced but seldom explained. Juan could explain it much better than I can.

  14. Dawn Chattin says:

    As we say in Vermont, Remember, Nature wants to kill you.

  15. puttesla intxtbks says:

    I find it funny that Blancolirio has become my dam expert ! But glade he is.

  16. Monica Sissysouthgate says:

    I live here in Michigan and I’m so glad you’re covering this I like the way you covered the Oroville Dam and I believe you’ll do a good job giving us the facts on this one keep up the good work

  17. Larry Scott says:

    It’s worth restating: privately owned dams. And safety hazards known and unaddressed for years.

    “Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations. MIDLAND — The owner of a Gladwin County dam that failed and prompted widespread evacuations Tuesday was cited repeatedly by federal officials for safety violations, including failing to fix spillways used to prevent flooding, …”

  18. Chad Winslow says:

    Hey Juan outstanding job as always. I live in Midland and this is a sad deal on top of everything else. Keep up the awesome coverage you do on all the subjects you talk about. I’ve lived here all my life and you just taught me a lot of things I didn’t know👍🏻

  19. David Collins says:

    Been getting hit with rain in Michigan, within the last three weeks we’ve had nearly 7 inches of rain. Over 3 and 1/4 inches of rain the last two days. And chances for rain every day next week, I think i need to invest in a canoe. Thanks for the great info

  20. S.G. DeVries says:

    I am from Michigan so have been paying attention to all of this coverage. Thanks for being factual in your reporting (been following you since Oroville). There are a lot of people being critical of officials and engineers etc. about this and it is often left out of reporting that in essence these emergency spillways did function as intended: they gave people time. Although the photo/videos are shocking to see, all the residents had plenty of warning and I don’t believe there has been a single fatality. As for the emergency spillway capacity, I don’t know to what level they were designed for. We had an unprecedented amount of rain with huge portions of that watershed getting over 7 inches of rain in the hours/day preceding the flooding (falling on already saturated soil). I don’t know if any reasonable level of emergency spillway capacity would have been able to handle that volume of water. Just my two cents. Thanks for being straightforward and not rushing to criticize or blame. Keep up the good work.

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