Thread Lake being monitored following dam breach - WNEM TV 5

Thread Lake being monitored following dam breach

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Upstream / Lake side view of the breach (Source: FRWC) Upstream / Lake side view of the breach (Source: FRWC)
Downstream of Thread Lake dam, showing one open and one closed gate. (Source: FRWC) Downstream of Thread Lake dam, showing one open and one closed gate. (Source: FRWC)
North end of lake, returning to historic stream channel. (Source: FRWC) North end of lake, returning to historic stream channel. (Source: FRWC)
Southern end of lake, with exposed lake bed. (Source: FRWC) Southern end of lake, with exposed lake bed. (Source: FRWC)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

A Genesee County lake is being monitored after weather conditions caused a breach of its dam last month.

The Flint River Watershed Coalition (FRWC) said they are monitoring the lake and creek conditions at Thread Lake, following a breach in the dam in February.

Last month, the Flint area experienced an unseasonably warm stretch of weather. Officials said a rapid melt of snow, combined with high rainfall, caused many of the rivers and creeks in the area to reach and exceed flood stage – including the dam at Thread Lake.

After assessing the situation, it was decided one of the two gates at the dam would remain open to allow water levels to remain well below the level of the breach. The breach was then temporarily filled with sandbags.

“A permanent solution to the dam breach is under investigation, and city officials communicated that an array of solutions (and associated costs) are currently under consideration,” the FRWC said in a press release.

The FRWC said in the meantime residents will notice the lake levels have dropped dramatically, especially on the southern end of the lake.

The FRWC is monitoring water quality in Thread Creek below the dam and is asking the City of Flint to investigate potential sediment issues related to historic industrial activity at and near Thread Lake. The FRWC is also looking into independent testing of the lake and creek sediment.

“Our initial concern is that public safety is addressed,” said FRWC Executive Director Rebecca Fedewa. “We are grateful no one was hurt during the breach, and that the city and state officials were effective in mitigating any immediate danger resulting from the breach. However, we have longer term concerns for both the health of Thread Creek downstream of the dam, as well as any human health impacts resulting from exposure to potentially contaminated sediments on the lake bed that were uncovered due to the lowering of the water levels. This breach also is another reminder of the importance of maintaining our water infrastructure, whether it’s our drinking water pipes, our sewer lines, or our dams.”

The FRWC will continue its investigation into the impacts of the dam breach.

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