Unseen danger lurking beneath surface of local lake - WNEM TV 5

Unseen danger lurking beneath surface of local lake

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM

Some people are taking advantage of the last-minute fun on Sanford Lake despite the less than ideal weather, but a drawback of the man-made lake is the dangers poking out of the water.

“It’s finally gotten to the point where I can’t ignore it anymore. I’ve got grandchildren,” said Darrell Weber.

Tree stumps are surfacing as the remnants of the wooded area that existed here in the 1920s before a dam was built on the Tittabawassee River to form Sanford Lake.

Weber lives on the lake and said those remnants could easily hurt, or even kill, someone.

"They'll stick up anywhere from 12 to 16 inches, roughly. Enough of a safety concern where it's actually, I've actually had a snowmobile accident with a stump myself,” Weber said.

Each fall, the lake is drawn down about three feet to prepare for a wet spring. This fall, it's even lower as crews make repairs to the Edenville Dam.

Weber said that's really exposed the mine-field of dangers.

"I don't know what it might take, but something needs to be done and it needs to be recognized,” Weber said.

Al Kloha, the Midland County commissioner, said it isn’t a simple fix.

“We can’t just go out there and cut the stumps off,” Kloha said.

Kloha said the Department of Natural Resources and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have to issue permits for that type of work.

“I'd definitely like to see it, but people that are concerned about it should join the Sanford Lake Association so that we can, as a group, approach the DNR and FERC for the right to be able to cut the stumps down,” Kloha said.

Weber said it's time people on the lake spring into action before somebody gets seriously hurt.

"I care so much about the lake and I want some improvement,” he said. 

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