Flood victims from Edenville Dam disaster suing federal agency

Residents claim FERC was negligent in allowing
Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 7:22 PM EDT
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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) - Victims of last May’s catastrophic flooding in Midland and Gladwin counties are filing claims against a federal agency, saying officials could have prevented the Edenville Dam disaster.

A law firm representing more than 400 people living in the area filed claims against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They are seeking more than $334 million for their ruined properties.

The Edenville Dam failed after days of heavy rainfall on May 19, 2020. More than 10,000 people were evacuated that evening as floodwaters rushed down the Tittabawasee River toward Midland and Saginaw Township.

The floodwaters overran the Sanford Dam in Midland County, causing it to fail as well.

The residents accuse the federal agency of negligently entrusting the license to operate the Edenville Dam to private owners and failing to monitor the dam’s operation. The dam was owned by Boyce Hydro at the time, but the company went bankrupt and turned over control of the structure to the Four Lakes Task Force.

The federal government can either negotiate a settlement or deny the claim. There is no deadline for that action.

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