Michigan DEQ orders Centreville Dam drawdown
Failure of the dam would release large volumes of water and sediment into the downstream Prairie River channel.
MDEQ is acting as the result of a dispute that has left the dam without a dam operator coupled with recent and forecasted heavy rainfalls that put the dam at risk of sudden failure. The department issued an emergency order to the dam owner on ugust 16, 2016.
The order calls for the owner to secure access to the dam and resume normal operation or to begin immediate drawdown of the impoundment behind the dam to reduce the immediate threat to the health, safety, and welfare of downstream residents and natural resources resulting from resulting from failure of the dam during high flows.
Since the dam owner has not been granted access to the dam site, MDEQ staff commenced actions to drawdown the impoundment on the evening of Tuesday, August 16. Complete drawdown of the impoundment is expected by Wednesday, August 24, 2016.
The public is urged to maintain a safe distance from the dam during this period, avoiding the spillway structure and the Prairie River channel downstream of the dam as high flows and/or sudden failure of the dam are possible until after the impoundment has been lowered. ■