Residents respond to start of Edenville Embankment Restoration Project

After three years, the Edenville Embankment Restoration Project is officially underway.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:29 PM EST
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MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) - After three years, the Edenville Embankment Restoration Project is officially underway.

The Fisher Contracting Team has begun excavating the embankment so a new toe drain and filter system can be installed along the earthen dam embankment.

“Our recreation is gone,” said Jim, a resident in the area.

Jason Sample, another resident, said this should have been taken care of a long time ago.

There were some shared sentiments among residents as they processed the news that the Edenville Dam will be restored.

The Fisher Contracting Company announced the project on Facebook, and though residents are excited by the news, they said it’s long overdue.

“I mean, it’s been a long time wanted, needed. Like I said, I’ve been here for about 30 years and the Edenville Dam was bad when I was a child,” Sample said.

After days of heavy rainfall in May 2020, the Edenville Dam failed, sending billions of gallons downstream and prompting the subsequent failure of the Sanford Lake Dam. The catastrophe forced more than 10,000 residents to evacuate in Gladwin, Midland, and Saginaw Counties.

Related: Water still missing from lakes 3 years after floods

Attorney General Dana Nessel determined the former owner of the Edenville Dam knew in 2010 it could fail if the level in Wixom Lake was too high but did nothing about it.

Related: Federal court holds former Edenville Dam owners responsible for 2020 failure

“I retired two years ago or three years ago and it was to come live on a lake. Move up here, day before I was going to put the pontoon in, flood comes up, everything went,” Jim said.

Jimmy Singh is one of the owners of the Edenville Market off M-30. He said the flood impacted his business.

“All business, like, slowed down because everything’s, like, a dead end. The bridge shut down, no nothing,” Singh said.

Some hope restoring the dam will restore the spirit of the community.

“It’s like the lake life. Everybody comes together in the summer when the water’s here. It’s a different vibe, it’s just not the same,” said Hannah Hero.

The state plans to seek financial compensation from the former owner of the dam.

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