Traverse City Record-Eagle

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August 25, 2013

Letters to the Editor: 08/25/2013

Safety analysis needed

If you have wondered about the effects of taking out the dams on the Boardman River you could weigh the many reports and a safety analysis if it’s ever issued.

However, there’s no need to do this as the Muskegon River dam at Big Rapids was removed to return the river to its natural state just as will happen on the Boardman River if the dams are taken out.

This winter there was flooding in Big Rapids caused by the dam removal. This caused: a state of emergency with millions of dollars of damage, 55 homes damaged with half of them destroyed (repairs are not covered by insurance), damaged and lost utilities such as power, sewage and water supplies and roads, evacuation of families from their homes to shelters and releases of encapsulated hazardous mud from the dam.

Big Rapids is smaller and less developed than Traverse City. This makes the damage potential orders of magnitude larger than Big Rapids.

Remember this is not speculation, it is actual real damages.

Removal of the dams without a full engineering safety analysis and protective measures installed is not acceptable. The public needs to make an informed decision.

Steve Sobkowski

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