Eastern Side of Edenville Dam in Michigan Has Collapsed

On March 19, 2020, the eastern side of Edenville dam collapsed, and it has forced the immediate evacuations in the town of Edenville and the city of Midland. The failure of the dam also posed a threat to the Sanford Dam, about 10 miles downstream of the Edenville Dam and 6 miles upstream of the city of Midland.

UPDATE: The Sanford Dam collapsed as well.

It was an earthen gravity dam was completed in 1925 for hydroelectric power and for flood control. The height is 54 feet, the length is 6,600 feet (2,000 m) at its crest, and it impounds both the Tittabawassee River and its tributary the Tobacco River.

The Wixom Lake was created by the dam. The maximum capacity was about 88 million tons of water.

In 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a preliminary permit to Four Lakes Task Force to study the feasibility of the 6-MW Edenville Dam Hydroelectric Project on the Tittabawassee and Tobacco river system in Michigan.

An existing concrete and steel powerhouse had two 2.4-MW turbine-generator units.

The Sanford Dam generates about 3.4 megawatts of power.

Midland has a population of about 40,000. Edenville has about 2500 people living in it.

Home prices in Midland were about $150,000. If there were 20,000 buildings in Midland then the flooding likely caused about $2 billion in damage.

Fortunately, there are no reports of fatalities.

The deaths per terawatt hour of different energy sources is not impacted.


Energy Source              Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average               161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China                       278
Coal – USA                         15
Oil                                36  (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas                         4  (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass                    12
Peat                               12
Solar (rooftop)                     0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind                                0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro                               0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao)    1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear                             0.04 (5.9% of world energy)