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      Project leaders say dam removal not the cause of recent flooding

      A group of homes along the Boardman River are being threatened by flooding, and residents living there say the Brown Bridge Dam removal project is to blame.

      Chuck Lombardo, a spokesperson for the Boardman River dam project implementation team says that these Spring floods along the Boardman River are in no way connected to the Brown Bridge Dam removal.

      " A permit was issued by the D.E.Q. for the removal of the dam and the D.E.Q. ran their analysis, ran hydrology studies and obviously determined that there was not any significant risk of flooding or they would not have issued the permit to remove the dam," says Lombardo.

      Residents living along the river say rising water over the last 24 hours, and all of the damages that go along with it, is exactly what they feared would come from the removal of the dam.

      "It's flooding everything down here because the water has no place to go yet," said long time resident, Barb Reneaud.

      Heavy snow melts and rain fall in the area left about 10 homes in jeopardy Wednesday evening, facing flooded lawns, disappearing furniture, and mold build up.

      "I don't like company to come over because of the smell, and the mold, and the dampness that makes everybody sick when they come to my home," said Shelley Wesley.

      The residents are already involved in a potential lawsuit filed for damage they saw when the Brown Bridge Dam breached last October. Now they want to blame this recent flood on the dam removal.

      "What is happening this week with the Boardman River is happening all over Northern Michigan and Western Michigan," said Lombardo. "There's been a lot of rain, the ground is saturated, and this time of year we always expect to see higher levels on the river."

      "I have never seen anything like this in my front yard, my side yard, or my back yard," said Wesley.

      "In 9-years, this is the highest water table that we've had to deal with," said David Hoyt.

      Lombardo tells 7&4 News that the removal of the Brown Bridge Dam did cause the Boardman River current to move faster, and stronger.

      Lombardo says that according to measurements taken on Thursday, the river is 12-16 higher than normal.