June 27, 2017
by Steve Carmody
The Flint River is the main artery flowing through Flint’s industrial heart. For decades, from the late 1800’s and into the 1920’s, a gasification plant located along the river turned coal into much-needed natural gas.
Over time, the coal tar waste produced by the plant ended up in the Flint River, just upstream from the Hamilton Dam. The dam helped contain the coal tar, which sunk deep into the river bed....
The dredging should definitely go forward, but, caution should be instituted when removing dams near or through cities. I never recommend it because we are captured in a climate crisis and dams control water, flooding and save lives.
Dams are always viewed as a threat to people. The one in mind is the Oroville Dam. That dam performed incredibly well. There was never any worry about the integrity of the dam. I want people to think about the water that dam contained after severe storms. What would have happened if the dam was not there to contain it?
It was a portion of the spillway that failed. How much of that failure was due to drought? Land will develop weak areas when drought exists.
In the case of the Hamilton Dam, it's destruction should go forward with caution. Flood control is necessary. Dams provide that control. If they are aged, usually all they need are concrete repairs which cost far less than deconstruction of the dam.