In May 2020, devastating floods caused the failure of multiple dams along the Tittabawassee River. These failures, in essence, emptied Wixom and Sanford Lakes and caused significant property casualty downstream. The dams for Secord and Smallwood Lakes in Gladwin County are also in need of important repairs and as a result these water levels have also been reduced until repairs have can be made.
The path to lake level restoration will be long and involved. Following are updates as released by the Four Lakes Task Force.
New assessment methodology (12/8/2021)
A new assessment methodology has been announced for properties in the Special Assessment District (SAD). An online tool allows you to view the proposed assessment per parcel in the district.
River path restored at Edenville (10/28/2021)
Engineers have worked for weeks to stabilize the shoreline and re-route the Tittabawassee River back on its original path through the Edenville Dam.
Video overview of failure analysis (10/19/2021)
Practical Engineering has posted a video overview of the cause of the Edenville Dam failure based on the recent interim report of the Independent Forensic Team. This 14-minute video gives a good visual understanding of the failure and potential engineering causes of the event.
Bottomland Vegetation Management (7/19/2021)
Many property owners on the lakes are concerned about the vegetation growth on the lake bed. The Four Lakes Task Force believes this can not be addressed in 2021 due to the need for permits, expense involved and lack of consensus on a plan. Property owners need to take special care when addressing areas adjacent to their property.
Attorneys Suggest Challenge to Special Assessment District Boundaries (7/13/2021)
Some property owners have reported that attorneys are likely planning a challenge to the number of properties that could be assessed for the restoration of the lakes. The current Special Assessment District Boundaries were set by the Midland and Gladwin Circuit Courts in May of 2019.
State of Michigan EGLE supports restoration of the lakes (7/12/2021)
In a letter to the Four Lakes Task Force, EGLE Director Liesl Clark wrote: “EGLE will support the Midland and Gladwin Counties’ communities if they decide the best course of action is to rebuild the dams and restore the lakes.”
Summer 2021 projects (6/22/2021)
Projects on the lake beds and dams will center around dam stabilization, design and engineering, installing instruments for monitoring and reporting and removing debris.