Dead River Basin Rebuilding

Nearly ten years after the Dead River flood in Marquette, the construction work needed to rebuild the river basin is just about complete.

Local, state and federal agencies had to work closely with nonprofit groups and others to rebuild the basin.

Many people from those groups and government organizations visited the river basin today to see how the work has progressed.

The largest single effort involved rebuilding four miles of the river between the Silver Lake Dam and the County Road AAO bridge.

The dam itself is also being replaced.

The Dead River isn’t what it was before the flood, and it may never be, but it is usable for swimming and fishing again.

Michigan DEQ director Dan Wyant says the rebuilding work, and the partnerships involved in getting it all done, serve as a model not only to the U.P. but to the entire state.

The failure of the Silver Lake Dam released about 9 billion gallons of water in May of 2003.

The flood forced the evacuation of about 2,300 people and caused about $100 million in damage.