Dams may be removed before they can fail

Capital News Service
LANSING — The recent failure of a northern Michigan dam puts a spotlight on the rest of the state’s aging inventory of water control structures. The dam on Big Sucker Creek in Emmet County’s Bliss Township forced the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to draw down the water of O’Neal Lake to investigate the cause of the failure. That left dry areas of the lake once used for fishing, canoeing and boating. O’Neal Lake dam’s failure raises questions about dams that inspectors have labeled “high hazard.”
Eighty-eight dams in Michigan previously received “high hazard” status following mandatory inspection. High hazard doesn’t mean a dam is about to fail.