Wixom Lake drawn down nearly 5 feet

Published: Oct. 4, 2018 at 6:19 PM EDT
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(10/04/18) - Federally-mandated inspections are complete on three Mid-Michigan dams.

To facilitate the inspections by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, water levels were lowered on Sanford, Wixom, Smallwood and Secord lakes.

However, an inspection of the Edenville Project on Wixom Lake was not done as FERC recently revoked the license of Boyce Hydro. The revokation meant Boyce had to stop generating power at the dam.

However, it still has active licenses on the other dams which required the inspections.

FERC tells ABC12 the inspections were done Monday and Tuesday. A spokeswoman adds a report on the findings should be complete within 60 days.

Now that the inspections are complete lakefront property owners are ready for the water to go back up.

At least check the Wixom Lake Association measured that the lake had gone down around four feet, eight inches.

"It's kind of exciting in one way that we're getting to see everything that's out here, and people have been trying to take stuff out and pick stuff up, junk and bottles and stuff," said Wixom Lake Association President Larry Woodard. "We're anxious for the water to come back."

While some lakefront property owners have been exploring while they water is low, they have to watch their step.

"It's pretty mucky, you can loose your boots pretty easy," Woodard said.

Woodard said in one spot someone found steel. "It looked like boats had hit it before, props and stuff had hit it before."

But in most other places people have found what you'd expect. "They're finding stumps and rocks that are out in front of their place, logs. And I tell them to call the DEQ because normally they want a permit if you're going to take anything out of the lake bottom," Woodard said.

Speaking of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, it's in charge of making sure the Edenville Project is safe, as FERC no longer has authority over it. Their authority ended when it stopped generating power.

Woodard added there's a lot going on behind-the-scenes amid all this uncertainty and change, and he hopes this encourages people to get involved. "We need all the members we can now to keep this lake where it is and, and how it is for the summer time," he said.

The Four Lakes Task Force, the Wixom Lake Association and others hope the water begins to come back up next week. The organizations are closely monitoring the situation and will post updates on their websites, when the information is available.

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