Team of Experts Will Investigate Failure of Dams

Governor Gretchen Whitmer called for an investigation into the failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams in response to catastrophic flooding in Midland last May. A team of 6 experts has been chosen to investigate and report on the failures, and they began meeting last week.

The team is made up of experts in geotechnical engineering, hydraulics, dam safety and design. Several of them participated in the 2017 investigation of the failure of the Oroville Dam in California.

Team members are:

  • John W. France, President, JWF Consulting, who will serve as team leader.
  • Irfan A. Alvi, President and Chief Engineer, Alvi Associates.
  • Henry T. Falvey, President, Henry T. Falvey & Associates.
  • Steve Higinbotham, Hydraulic structures engineer consultant.
  • Arthur C. Miller, Technical Advisor, AECOM.
  • Jennifer Williams, Geotechnical engineer and consultant.

Liesl Clark, Director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), said, “With the knowledge and experience these professionals bring to the independent investigation, I am confident that we will get a clear picture of what went wrong with the two dams and why.”

The investigation is expected to take up to 18 months to complete, and a final report will be submitted to EGLE, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and Boyce Hydro LLC, the owner of the two dams.

Reporting for WGRT – Jessie Wiegand