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(AP News)   That Michigan dam had repeated safety violations before breaking. Yoopsy-daisy   (apnews.com) divider line
    More: Facepalm, Dam, Hydroelectricity, Reservoir, Three Gorges Dam, hydroelectric dam, Flood, Water wheel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission  
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1965 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 May 2020 at 9:32 AM (4 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



43 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
4 days ago  
Good thing Trump got rid of all regulations by executive decree so this will never happen again.
 
4 days ago  
How dare you people speak ill of the job creators.
 
4 days ago  
Domestic terrorist Trumpers rigged it to break to make Governor Whitmer look bad.

Hey, if Trump can pull that crap....
 
4 days ago  
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Good thing we're finally approaching Infrastructure Week.
 
4 days ago  

Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image 760x507]

Good thing we're finally approaching Infrastructure Week.


Such yelling!  Is Pickle in the passenger seat?
 
4 days ago  
Lee Mueller

What's with all these Mueller guys hating America?
 
4 days ago  
Trump administration in 3... 2... 1...: To avoid this kind of violation in the future, we will abolish those regulation by executive order right now.
 
4 days ago  

Diogenes: Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image 760x507]

Good thing we're finally approaching Infrastructure Week.

Such yelling!  Is Pickle in the passenger seat?


He better not be, that grass isn't gonna cut itself.
 
4 days ago  
So the federal government is responsible for local infrastructure now?
 
4 days ago  
It was a private company running the damn (not even sure how that works).

Is privatizing our infrastructure still a good idea?
 
4 days ago  
Sounds like it's time to offer all the execs performance bonuses and then declare bankruptcy to avoid the massive barrage of lawsuits that are coming

It's the American way!
 
4 days ago  

Nonpo: Good thing Trump got rid of all regulations by executive decree so this will never happen again.


Diogenes: Domestic terrorist Trumpers rigged it to break to make Governor Whitmer look bad.

Hey, if Trump can pull that crap....



Came here to see both of these.  Leaving satisfied.
 
4 days ago  
In a sane world, given this knowledge the limpoundments would have been drained almost immediately in the interest of public safety, but lakefront property owners are a special kind of entitled and their howls of indignation against imagined tyranny would reverberate across the AM airwaves, so once again there was never going to be any political will in favor doing the proper and cost-effective thing.
 
4 days ago  
Governments should not be run like businesses. Go to school. Read history books.
 
4 days ago  
For a few hours, the internets were full of conservatives crying how government failed us again. Then they learned it was a privately owned dam.
 
4 days ago  
I'm getting the feeling that the U.S. is not really a 1st World country any more. We have the crumbling infrastructure, openly corrupt politicians and a proudly ignorant populace. All we need to complete the picture is a tin-pot dictator in charge. Hmmmm...
 
4 days ago  
Clearly we're not Free Marketing hard enough. Better defund the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission just to be sure.
 
4 days ago  

AngryDragon: So the federal government is responsible for local infrastructure now?


Uh, yeah, pretty much: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec​/IF1060​6.pdf

Here's the relevant part: The federal role in dam safety encompasses: (1) support for state dam safety efforts; (2) support for federal dam safety; (3) regulation of certain nonfederal dams, and (4) rehabilitation and repair for certain nonfederal dams.

Also, depending on the type of dam, there are certain federal limits on maintenance and operation (hydroelectric dams have restrictions from Department of energy, and any dams that feed into navigable waterways have some ACOE restrictions on operation.

No, they're not directly responsible for repairs, but they do share responsibility with the state to ensure that things are being maintained and operated safely.
 
4 days ago  

Null Pointer: It was a private company running the damn (not even sure how that works).

Is privatizing our infrastructure still a good idea?


You can ask people downstream of the St. Francis Dam out in California.
 
4 days ago  

Nonpo: Good thing Trump got rid of all regulations by executive decree so this will never happen again.


Dams fail after three years of possible neglect?

Yeah, three years....
 
4 days ago  
Clearly, no one remembers the lessons from the Johnstown Flood. Private lake with earthen dam created for recreation where owners make changes without consulting engineers and insufficient spillway to handle high water level. Towns built downstream...

Here's a blurb from a 2017 Michigan Public Radio story:

In the state of Michigan, chances are good that if you live near a river or stream, you also live near a dam. There are nearly 2,600 dams in Michigan. Many of them are small and privately owned. And nearly all of them are getting old.

According to 2014 report, 90% of Michigan's dams are going to meet or exceed their design life - the length of time for which they were designed to operate - by 2020.

A watershed moment for dam removals in Michigan
 
4 days ago  
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/Trojan Horse
 
4 days ago  
the target of lengthy investigations by federal regulators, who revoked the facility's license over safety violations two years before the flooding that forced 10,000 people to evacuate their homes.

YOU HAVE 15 MINUTES TO MOVE YOUR DAM.
 
4 days ago  

AngryDragon: So the federal government is responsible for local infrastructure now?


They're responsible for local health guidelines, election procedures, and re-opening plans. And that's just this week.

I think it's only fair.
 
4 days ago  
Sanford Dam?!


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Watch it, sucka!!!!
 
4 days ago  
Oof. After 21 years of neglect and failure, the deal to sell to a local task force was almost complete. That's like a cop getting shot the day before his retirement.
 
4 days ago  
Wonder if the same people that marched on the capital are now asking for help.
 
4 days ago  
Gretchen should fix the damn dams and the damn roads.
 
4 days ago  

mofa: Governments should not be run like businesses. Go to school. Read history books.


Excuse my ignorance, but what are you referring to?
I'm genuinely interested in the subject.
 
4 days ago  

beakerxf: Clearly, no one remembers the lessons from the Johnstown Flood. Private lake with earthen dam created for recreation where owners make changes without consulting engineers and insufficient spillway to handle high water level. Towns built downstream...

Here's a blurb from a 2017 Michigan Public Radio story:

In the state of Michigan, chances are good that if you live near a river or stream, you also live near a dam. There are nearly 2,600 dams in Michigan. Many of them are small and privately owned. And nearly all of them are getting old.

According to 2014 report, 90% of Michigan's dams are going to meet or exceed their design life - the length of time for which they were designed to operate - by 2020.

A watershed moment for dam removals in Michigan


Well... they got removed.
 
4 days ago  
Did anyone actually read? It was the state who took over inspecting the dam after the feds said it had to be closed for safety and the water levels reduced. The state took over and not wanting to hurt mussels or lower the level of the water, sued the company preventing them from lowering the water levels to a safe level. The same attorney general who sued over the low water levels hurting mussels, says she is going to investigate how this happened. Yes, the company that was shut down from creating power from the dam could have reopened if they spent millions creating flood mitigation. But once shut down it was cheaper to lower the levels instead of reopening.

Both the state of Michigan and the company are responsible but the state caused this to happen now by not letting lower water levels. And everyone blamed the federal government in this thread that had higher safety standards. Orange man bad but didn't have anything to do with this.
 
4 days ago  
Clearly the problem is allowing the safety violations to be made public.
 
4 days ago  

great_tigers: Gretchen should fix the damn dams and the damn roads.


Gretchen had nothing to do with it. Snyder and the GOP were the ones that let the dam's owners slide on regulations and didn't want to pony up money for infrastructure for the 8 years leading up to 2018, and then once Whitmer got in she had an uphill battle getting the GOP Legislature to do anything budget-wise. She DID get lots of damn roads fixed (I drive on many of them)...  And then COVID-19 happened and Trump singled her out as the new Emmanuel Goldstein for the MAGAts.

This dam was privately owned, and the Republicans were dead-set against holding the corporation that owned it to any sort of regulations or oversight. It wasn't profitable to do so, and so the GOP buried their heads in the sand and kicked the can down the road for nearly a decade.
 
4 days ago  

ChrisDe: For a few hours, the internets were full of conservatives crying how government failed us again. Then they learned it was a privately owned dam.


This.

If they looked into the way the GOP Legislature in Michigan did everything they could to shield private companies like this from consequences of their actions, they'd get real quiet.
 
4 days ago  
It's in da mitten, not da Yoop.
 
4 days ago  

Null Pointer: It was a private company running the damn (not even sure how that works).

Is privatizing our infrastructure still a good idea?


Meanwhile, over in Bay City, Michigan (a neighboring city to Midland) the city is selling their bridges to a private company because they can't afford upkeep and the bridges are in rough shape. The private company plans to make them into toll bridges, which will effectively cut off half of Bay City from the other half unless people want to drive way on the other side of town to take the one bridge that will remain free (and become perpetually clogged with traffic, and wear down faster because of it).

The people of Bay City are broke as fark. Asking them to pay more to drive to work or into town is going to be a hard pill to swallow. And forget public transportation; That was effectively wiped out in the mid-20th century when the Big Three were behind Michigan's politicians and they made it necessary for people in Michigan to buy cars if they wanted to get anywhere.
 
4 days ago  

armyguy35: It's in da mitten, not da Yoop.


Yeah. I forgot to say that. Subby's headline makes no sense. Midland is in the lower peninsula, not the upper peninsula.

Yooper = U.P.er

The pun falls flat.
 
4 days ago  

noshowbizmike: The state took over and not wanting to hurt mussels or lower the level of the water, sued the company preventing them from lowering the water levels to a safe level.


That's not what it said and that's not what happened.

They were sued for lowering the water without regard to endangered species. There was nothing about "safe levels", and it wouldn't have mattered anyway because mid-Michigan had a record rainfall at the beginning of this week. That, along with the late thaws (we had snow in May, folks) caused the water levels to rise faster than could be anticipated, but the private company that owned the dams had been warned repeatedly to repair the faults that could lead to a cascade failure-- all the dams breaking-- which is exactly what happened.

The company lowering the water levels didn't have anything to do with safety. You inserted that detail yourself.
 
4 days ago  

WilderKWight: noshowbizmike: The state took over and not wanting to hurt mussels or lower the level of the water, sued the company preventing them from lowering the water levels to a safe level.

That's not what it said and that's not what happened.

They were sued for lowering the water without regard to endangered species. There was nothing about "safe levels", and it wouldn't have mattered anyway because mid-Michigan had a record rainfall at the beginning of this week. That, along with the late thaws (we had snow in May, folks) caused the water levels to rise faster than could be anticipated, but the private company that owned the dams had been warned repeatedly to repair the faults that could lead to a cascade failure-- all the dams breaking-- which is exactly what happened.

The company lowering the water levels didn't have anything to do with safety. You inserted that detail yourself.


You can bet it will be ret-conned into conservahistory
 
4 days ago  
Is there a single dam failure in the last century where there weren't a hundred increasingly urgent warnings in the file?

I'm not being facetious or trying to excuse anyone. I'm just saying, as a species we've basically figured out that you can't have dams without people to maintain them and write strongly worded letters when they're not maintained. Whether those warnings are heeded is another question.

I just don't think we really see dams fail where you have a lot of stunned engineers wondering why they didn't see this coming.
 
4 days ago  
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4 days ago  

geggy: [Fark user image 279x750]
[Fark user image 425x671]
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/Trojan Horse


Curious, when did the second article publish?
 
4 days ago  
Memorial Honors Victims Of Imminent Dam Disaster
Youtube yjfrJzdx7DA
 
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