Boardman River

Paul-W, Flickr

Beach access is now being permitted in some locations after heavy rains on Saturday led to a sewage spill in the Boardman River.

 

After E. coli tests were done yesterday, the Grand Traverse County Health Department says Clinch Park and Bryant Park Beaches are safe for full body contact.

 

Slightly higher E. coli levels allow only for partial body contact at Sunset Park Beach.  This includes activities such as wading, fishing and paddling.

Peter Payette

Grand Traverse County residents are having a hard time coping with the Great Lakes’ near record high lake levels.

“We’re seeing unprecedented storms and high, high levels in the lakes and groundwater, and the combination is just causing a lot of issues unfortunately,” said Arthur Krueger, director of municipal utilities for Grand Traverse County.

One of these issues is regular flooding in basements of local homes and businesses. Some desperate residents have turned to illegal solutions.

Two floods, two weeks and too much water

Jun 11, 2020
Dan Wanschura

The second extreme rain event in two weeks has led to yet another sewage spill in the Boardman River in Traverse City.

 

A public health advisory has gone into effect, and the Grand Traverse County Health Department has advised the public to stay out of the water at beaches including Clinch Park, Sunset Park, Bryant Park and the Grand Traverse Senior Center. 

 

Dan Wanschura

The public health advisory for Grand Traverse County has been lifted today.

 

E. coli levels in the Boardman River have now returned to a safe level for full body contact with the water.

 

After heavy rains caused 54,000 gallons of sewage to leak from a manhole cover into the Boardman River last Thursday, several beaches and locations along the Boardman River were closed.  All of those locations are open and safe for use again.

 

Heavy rains flood Traverse City

May 28, 2020
Gretchen Carr

  

Heavy rains Thursday afternoon left parts of Traverse City underwater.

During the height of the storm, about 2.5 inches of rain were recorded in less than an hour, according to Grand Traverse County’s emergency management supervisor Gregg Bird.

Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

 

If you’re upset about drunken crowds on northern Michigan rivers in the summer, don’t expect change anytime soon.

This week, the U.S. Forest Service said it will not prohibit alcohol on the Au Sable, Pine and Manistee rivers this year. 

And at a forum about the Boardman River Wednesday, a Michigan DNR officer said they can’t arrest people for being drunk and disorderly on the water.

Giving up on an alcohol ban

Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Dams hurt native fish by blocking their access to rivers — but removing dams to let the fish through would open the way for invasive species.

A first-of-its-kind barrier designed to deal with this problem by sorting fish will be tested on the Boardman River in downtown Traverse City. If it’s successful, it could be a model for rivers all over the world.

What to do with dams

Gary Langley, FAA certified sUAS pilot / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, we dive into the restoration of the Boardman River since three dams were removed.

 

The story ties into the thousands of aging dams in Michigan. Many are more than 50 years old, and some aren’t safe. Removing them is good for floodplains and native fish, but it costs money — sometimes more than is available.

Voices of the Boardman River: Tawny Hammond

Aug 29, 2018
Naina Rao

Two years ago, Tawny Hammond fulfilled a lifelong dream when she moved Up North and took over a kayak rental business on Boardman Lake. Even when she was a teenager, Hammond knew she would end up in Traverse City.

“it just felt home to me, I felt like I belonged here,” Hammond says.


Voices of the Boardman River: the Gibbs Family

Aug 22, 2018
Naina Rao

Old dams are being removed from the Boardman River. That’s because they are costly to maintain and harmful to the river’s wildlife.

But not everyone is excited about losing the dams. The Gibbs family has been here for generations and their ancestors helped build the dams.


Voices of the Boardman River: Hank Bailey

Aug 16, 2018
Naina Rao

Ottawa Indians have been in Northern Michigan for centuries. They witnessed the Ottoway River become the Boardman River when it was renamed by settlers.

When a series of dams was proposed for the river, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians was against it. So when word got out that the city might remove the dams, the tribe jumped at the opportunity to help.

But things didn’t go as smoothly as they expected.

DEREK A YOUNG / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Boardman Dam removal begins this week.

 

 

On Thursday, engineers will start siphoning out water from behind the Boardman Dam in the first step to remove the 130-year-old structure. As a result residents downstream should expect cloudy water in the next few weeks, according to project manager Dan Devaun.

 

 

Grand Traverse County wants the YMCA to run its troubled swimming pool. County commissioners voted Wednesday night to turn management of the Easling Pool over to the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA. The pool has been closed since October due to lack of funding.

The county would pay the YMCA $50,000 in management fees during a one-year trial.

Most commissioners support the plan but County Administrator Tom Menzel said it’s a bad idea.

There will be no trial over a flash flood two years ago near Traverse City that happened as a dam along the Boardman River was being removed.

 

In October 2012, the deluge swamped homes, cottages and private bridges -- forcing mandatory evacuations and road closures. 

 

Thirteen property owners sued the contractors -- and local governments. At one time, they were said to be asking $6 million. Non-disclosure agreements were signed in some cases as part if the settlement.

 

Next Boardman dam removal approaches

Sep 26, 2014
Tom Carr

The second of three Boardman River dams will likely be removed next year. As those plans move forward, some residents fear a replay of 2012.

A malfunction during the first dam removal caused a flood that swamped homes and cabins. Engineers say a repeat is highly unlikely.

At the same time, a lawsuit sparked by the flood is still moving forward.

Boardman River Dams and Restoration Project

A group charged with removing hydroelectric dams along the Boardman River says it passed the halfway point in fundraising for the removal of a second dam.

Brown Bridge Dam has already been removed and leaders with the Boardman River Dams and Restoration Project say they are on track to have Boardman Dam down by the end of next year. That’s the dam that crosses Cass Street south of South Airport Road.

This week the group announced it’s raised an additional million dollars, bringing the total raised so far for Phase II to $5.7 million.

Tom Carr

  The Boardman River and the upper Manistee have crested and are expected to fall slowly overnight. Both rivers reached record high levels Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service office in Gaylord.

Wexford County's state of emergency continued Tuesday, even as spring flooding in the region slowed. The county's worst-hit area is along the Manistee, north of Mesick.

Wexford Lieutenant Richard Denison says police in dry suits waded up to doorsteps of flooded homes to make sure nobody was stranded.