Small dam in Hillsdale partially leaked, no threat posed to residents, official says


A dam in Hillsdale County is being monitored tonight after a leak over the weekend.

6 News reporter Asha Patel took a closer look at the problem and what it means for people living in the surrounding area.

Carol Hawk has been living in Hillsdale since 1996. She moved to Bear Lake a few years ago. Recently, she noticed the Hillsdale Drain Commission working on the lake.

“They were out here yesterday they were taking cement bags over to stop the water from draining out,” Hawk said.

A crew was working on a solution to repair the leak from the Bear Lake Dam. Officials said the leak could cause lake levels to drop, somewhere around seven inches, which can make it difficult for people to get their boats in and out of the water.

Hawk said this is not the first time there has been a problem.
“It happened a couple years back that the one side of it let go a little bit but not this bad,” Hawk said.

The Drain Commission said just last year, it submitted a request to the state to add a steel wall to the dam.

But that still has not been approved.

A spokesperson for the Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy said there is no concern to the public.
“Well this dam is a what’s called a low hazard dam so we don’t feel there is a huge damaged or immediate danger to the public health or natural resources,” Nick Assendelft said.

Officials said the water levels in Bear Lake are not expected to drop more than a foot.

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