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Officials report flooding risk "reduced" following work on Blackhawk Dam

A dam in Branch County is currently in a stage of failure, according to the Branch County Drain Commissioner's Office, and the emergency management team is warning residents for a potential for significant flooding. (WWMT/Google Maps)

UPDATE: Branch County Office of Emergency Management's Tim Miner released a statement around 9:30 p.m. with an update on the work being done in Coldwater on the Blackhawk Dam.

The Branch County Drain Commissioner reports emergency repairs continue, and the situation is improving. The repairs appear to be an effective strategy to return the dam to normal operations. Materials and further repairs to the dam will be necessary. The Flood Watch issued by the National Weather Service for the Coldwater River and Pilot Knob area will continue. The risk for significant flooding has been reduced. Residents in the affected area should continue to monitor local media outlets and official messaging for the latest information and updates.

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A dam in Branch County is currently in a stage of failure, according to the Branch County Drain Commissioner's Office, and the emergency management team is warning residents of a potential for significant flooding.

The following statement was released from the Coldwater Public Safety and Tim Miner of the Branch County Office of Emergency Management on Sunday at noon regarding the Blackhawk Dam:

The Blackhawk Dam is in a stage of failure. The Branch County Drain Commissioner’s Office is working to mitigate the issues. Materials and equipment are being brought in to repair the dam. There is potential for significant flooding in the Coldwater River area extending into the Pilot Knob area. The amount of flooding will be dependent on control mechanisms that are being applied. Residence in this area should prepare for potential flooding problems. The City of Coldwater and Branch County Emergency Management are monitoring the situation.

Miner told Newschannel 3 that the Blackhawk Dam in a relatively newer dam, but engineers recently found areas where the dam is failing. Crews are currently on-scene working to repair the areas of concern and are "making pretty good headway." Miner is confident there won't be any issues throughout the repair process.

Blackhawk Dam is responsible for containing water from the 15-acre Blackhawk Mill Pond, which flows into the Coldwater River. Miner said if anything were to happen in terms of flooding, the influx of water wouldn't be in a "crazy amount."

According to dispatch, officials from the county are currently canvassing neighborhoods that could be in jeopardy of flooding and are expecting a second press release with updates on the dam's status within the next couple of hours.

This is a developing story. Stay with Newschannel 3 as we work to gather more details.

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