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Midland flood studies to guide new infrastructure, rebuild dams

Tittabawassee river
Christian Collins
/
Flickr
Tittabawassee bridge

The findings of a number of flood studies are helping guide the process of rebuilding and restoring four Midland dams — two dams of which were breached during historic flooding last year. Two others, officials said, need updates.

Since the Midland flood last year, the Four Lakes Task Force has been working on restoring and rebuilding the dams.

Part of the process included flood studies, which collected statistics on the rivers’ flooding ability. Those studies will help guide dam designs.

Dave Rothman is the vice president of the Four Lakes Task Force. He said the flood studies have been a collaborative effort to get on the path to restoration.

“We've been getting a great amount of support from people around all four lakes," Rothman said. "Those expressions of support definitely are important in bringing the lakes back because it shows that the community wants the lakes back.”

Rothman said the findings have not changed the estimated cost of rebuilding the dams, which is approximately 215 million dollars.

Now that the most recent study is complete, the next step, he said, is looking at potential dam designs to determine which is best suited to future flood risks.

Teresa Homsi is an environmental reporter and Report for America Corp Member based in northern Michigan for WCMU. She is covering rural environmental issues, public health and Michigan commerce. Homsi has a bachelor’s from Central Michigan University in environmental studies, journalism and anthropology. During her undergraduate, she was a beat reporter for CMU’s student newspaper Central Michigan Life and interned for the Huron Daily Tribune. She has also interned for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy in the superfund section. *Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms, more info at https://www.reportforamerica.org/