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A look at West Michigan dam maintenance

Posted at 4:43 PM, May 27, 2020

NEWAYGO, Mich. — Consumers Energy maintains 13 dams on five rivers in Michigan. They say right now they're all operating safely. It's a job they take seriously.

Two of them, the Croton and Hardy dams, are in Newaygo County.

“Croton dam was built in the 1900s. We are continually upgrading those for structural integrity, as well as safety,” spokesperson for Consumers Energy Terry DeDoes said.

Terry DeDeos with Consumers says they're constantly checking the dams. The operators check them daily. Engineers check them monthly. Federal inspectors check them yearly.

If for some reason water was to overflow into the river, they have an extensive siren system that is also checked twice a year.

“That is an alert. There’s excellent fishing at our dams. Anglers can be up there close, canoeists, kayakers, that sort of thing, enjoying the river. It’s a safety precaution. If there’s going to be an influx of river down stream, those sirens are used to warn those folks. For there safety they need to get away from the water,” DeDoes said.

It's all part of their requirements to keep dams structurally sound. They also work hand in and with the Newaygo County Emergency management team to ensure if something was to go wrong, they'd be prepared.

“For the safety of our folks, the local community, and those visiting the areas,” DeDeos said.