Questions remain about dam failure

Dozens of residents are assessing flood damage after a breach at the Brown Bridge Dam causing major problems over the weekend.

Monday crews temporarily suspended work around the Brown Bridge dam structure, but will move forward with other parts of the project.

Around 11:00a.m. Saturday the temporary dam that engineers constructed for a gradual draw-down of the Brown Bridge Pond partially collapsed causing massive amounts of water to flood the Boardman.

Monday the Brown Bridge Pond was almost entirely drained.

Boardman River Dams Project Spokesman Chuck Lombardo says, "Unfortunately because of the failure, what was suppose to take 20 days took six hours."

Crews working on the multi-million dollar restoration project say they're still trying to understand exactly what caused the breach, and may not have all the answers for several weeks. Construction workers scrambled to fix the problem hauling large stones and concrete to stop the fast flowing water.

Jim Pawlowski, a dam safety engineer with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says, "It was quite a surprise to everyone involved, but I guess be thankful there were no injuries up stream."

No injuries, but there was a lot of destruction.

Pete Prouty, who lives along River Road says , "I drove into my driveway and saw 15 inches surrounding entire house."

Prouty says he's facing about $150,000 worth of damage in his home. Cleanup crews spent the day ripping out carpet and packing up belongings. It is not the only home impacted by the rising waters. The Grand Traverse County Emergency Program Manager has been fielding phone calls all day from homeowners.

Dan Scott says, "We're approaching 40 homes that have been damaged."

It is still unclear what role the dam demolition general contractor Molon Excavating will play when it comes to paying for the mess, but Prouty says the company made him a promise.

Prouty says, "They said very clearly you don't have to worry we will make it right."

Grand Traverse County health officials are warning residents that water from flooded wells is unsafe unless boiled properly.