State suing owner of 2 mid-Michigan dams that failed

UNDATED (WOOD) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is suing the owner of the Midland County dams that failed during heavy rains last month.

The attorney general says Boyce Hydro, the company that owns the Sanford and Edenville dams, is responsible for cleaning up the environmental damage as well as repairs to the Edenville dam.

“This suit seeks an order requiring the dam owners to pay to remediate the damage they caused and to take action to make sure it never happens again,” Nessel announced Tuesday during a virtual press conference. “The suit will also seek immediate relief to hold the owner’s feet to the fire regarding the remaining portion of the Edenville dam on the Tobacco River side of the dam. That portion has become a public safety hazard. It is still holding back lots of water and is showing many signs of weakness.”

Nessel also says that Boyce should pay for individuals’ lost homes and property.

She said the company ignored federal and state regulators for years when they demanded the dams be properly maintained.

About 11,000 people were driven from their homes as the two dams failed and the Tittabawassee River overflowed its banks, though no one was seriously injured or killed.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday she would soon ask President Donald Trump for a major disaster declaration, which will make more resources available for cleanup and repairs.

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