ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox

On-Demand Webinar: Findings of the Independent Forensic Investigation of the Failures of Edenville and Sanford Dams, Michigan

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Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 2022

This webinar will summarize the findings of the Independent Forensic Team (IFT) tasked with investigating the May 19, 2020 failures of the Edenville and Sanford Dams in Michigan. The chronology of events leading up to the dam failures will be detailed. The likely physical mechanisms for the failures will be described, along with the range of potential mechanisms considered by the IFT. Contributing factors to the failures, including human and organizational factors will be discussed. Emergency actions that included the evacuation of up to 10,000 people will also be discussed. Finally, lessons to be learned from the failures will be reviewed.

Key Take-aways:

  • Understanding the complexities, challenges, and uncertainties in post-failure forensic investigations.
  • Understanding the value of cell phone imagery in the investigation of dam failures and incidents.
  • Understanding the potential effects of high reservoir levels during floods on embankment stability.
  • Understanding the complexity of emergency management decision-making during dam safety incidents and failures.
  • Understanding the complexity of the interaction during floods of multiple dams in the same river basin.

Access Training Here

Speaker(s): John W. France

Revision ID: 2342
Revision Date: 08/19/2022