On Tuesday, May 19, the Edenville Dam in Michigan ruptured after a heavy downpour, causing major flooding throughout portions of Midland County. Less than 24 hours later, the Sanford Dam was breached with water rushing over the failing dam and into the surrounding communities. The failure of both dams forced the evacuation of thousands of people in the county and left downtown Midland and surrounding communities under major water.
The Tittabawassee River in Midland entered a major flood stage on Tuesday morning. By that afternoon, the river had reached its major flood stage. The Edenville Dam, located on the Tittabawassee River and owned by Boyce Hydro Power LLC, breached later that evening. Within hours of the Edenville Dam collapsing, the Sanford Dam, which is also located on the Tittabawassee River and owned and operated by Boyce Hydro, was breached. A flash flood warning issued by the National Weather Services warned to expect flooding of small creeks, streams and other low-lying areas. The devastation and damage are unparalleled and left Governor Gretchen Whitmer to declare a state of emergency.
This catastrophe is likely the result of poor maintenance and negligence by the dam owners, Boyce Hydro. Federal regulators in 2018 revoked the hydro-power generating license for the collapsed Edenville Dam, citing years of failure by the dam owners to address safety problems – especially the dam’s ability to withstand a major flood.
Boyce Hydro had prepared to sell the dam to a delegated authority working for Midland County. However, the sale had not been completed and Boyce Hydro is still the owner.
Simply put, this was an accident waiting to happen and totally preventable with proper maintenance. Residents and business owners in the area might lose everything as a result of these floods.
Holding the Right Parties Liable for a Dam Failure
A dam owner is responsible for the upkeep and proper maintenance of its dam. Dams can be owned and operated by the government, as well as private corporations. The failure of any owner to properly maintain and operate a dam can result in dire consequences to people, property and businesses.
Those who suffer personal and financial harm from a dam failure can file a lawsuit against the alleged tortfeasors under both a strict liability and general negligence theory. Our dam failure attorneys are investigating cases for victims of the May 2020 dam failure.
Contact an Experienced Dam Failure Attorney for Help
If you suffered serious damage to your person or property from the Edenville Dam failure, you need the help of an experienced law firm. The dam failure attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates are available now for a free consultation regarding any losses you may have suffered and to see what our firm can do to help you recover your losses from this tragedy. The attorneys at our firm are licensed to practice in multiple states across the nation: Michigan, California, Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, and Washington.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.