Mid-Michigan pond runs dry - WNEM TV 5

Mid-Michigan pond runs dry

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Water is disappearing from a Mid-Michigan mill pond, taking all the fish with it and leaving ducks stuck in the mud.

"I was at the dentist office and I heard the pond was gone," said Ally Ball, talking about the Blanchard Mill Pond.

The pond is located just east of the tiny Isabella County community of Blanchard.

"This is a big surprise, we use to fish here as kids and I don't like it," said Ball. On Tuesday, Ball and other residents went to what use to be the water's edge, only to find out that almost overnight the lake had disappeared.

"This is a great rec park and we have a lot of get-togethers here, the pond is a big part of it," said Ball.

Just to give you an idea of how big the Blanchard Mill Pond is, from east to west, it's about six city blocks long and about three to four city blocks wide. Those who live in Blanchard said the pond is about seven to ten feet deep and over 100 years old.

But Tuesday the ducks were resting and nesting in the mud, and most of the fish have died.

Alan Camp has lived in the Blanchard area all of his life, and he's never seen the Mill Pond like this. "A lot of boys and girls have gone fishing here over the years," said Camp.

So TV5 called the Department of Environmental Quality to ask the Tough Questions about where the water went. The DEQ sent crews to inspect and investigate the pond.

"We're going to have a dam safety team on the site tomorrow, and we'll look at the damn and try to find out what happened from there," said the DEQ's Brian Rudolph.

And people in town say they believe the dam on the pond is to blame. They tell TV5 it had been slowly leaking last week. And with the heavy rains the area got hit with over the weekend, the extra pressure caused some of the wooden boards on the old dam to give way, draining the pond almost overnight.

"The water running through there controls the pond and those boards look like they were rotted out, now the water is running pretty freely," said Camp.

Meanwhile, residents like Ball, who took a picture of what was left of the pond, said she hopes they can restore the body of water quickly.

If you have a Tough Question you want us to investigate, call us at 989-758-2044, send us an email at wnem@wnem.com, or get a hold of us on Facebook.

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