Newaygo Co Emergency Test For Their Dams Was a Little To Real
An annual scheduled test for the Newaygo County dam system happened today, August 15, but the text message and radio emergency alerts were a little confusing.
Hardy and Croton Dams
The Croton Dam as seen in the picture above, and the Hardy Dam are both located in Newaygo County.
Both dams are hydroelectric power plants and are owned by Consumers Energy. The dam's emergency systems are tested in August and December of each year.
After the breach of the Edenville and Sanford dams in Midland, people who live near dams take emergency tests a little bit more seriously, and so do the companies that own them because no one wants another tragedy like the one that happened in 2020.
Newaygo County Emergency Service Test Dam Failure Systems, But It Felt Real
I live by the Hardy Dam and am so close that when the sirens go off for when the dam is going to let more water out, I can hear it from inside my house. I hear the siren frequently, especially when a significant amount of rain falls. I have lived there so long, the siren is just background noise but today was a little bit different.
The reason today was a little bit different was that after I crossed over the Hardy Dam in my car I got an emergency alert on my phone that came along with a voice message that said:
If you read this message too fast you may not know it was a test. What was even more unnerving was I was listening to the radio on the way to work and an Emergency Alert System came over the air with a female voice asking those below the Hardy Dam within 1 mile of the Muskegon River is directed to evacuate now. The radio message didn't say it was just a test, it called for an evacuation.
When I got to work which is in broadcasting, one of my co-workers comes to my office to ask if me and my home are ok since he knows I lived by the Hardy Dam. I let him know that I had crossed the dam already when I got the message sent to my phone and heard the broadcast interruption on the way in. I reached back out to my neighbor who said his phone was blowing up but as far as he could tell it was only a test.
People Near the Muskegon River it was "ONLY A TEST"
The Michigan State Police are asking that residents near the Muskegon River below the Hardy Dam remain calm and not have to evacuate a mile away from the river. Today's Emergency Alert System test was only a test. Nice to know it works.