Thanks to George for inspiring me to find these photos. Here's the story from 05/17/03:
- Marquette Flood Delays Shipping
Shipping in and out of Marquette will be impacted for at least several days due to the dam break on the Dead River.
The Silver Lake Dam located north of Champion well inland from Lake Superior gave way on Wednesday evening sending hundreds of thousands of gallons of water rushing toward Lake Superior. The break occurred just days after a torrential weekend storm dumped as much as 4 to 5 inches of rain over the region.
The rush of water enter into Lake Superior bring with it huge logs, telephone poles, dirt, camp equipment, and more debris. The mouth of the river empties just south of the upper harbor ore dock and washed out a bridge that is the only means of travel to and from the ore dock.
The Empire and Tilden mines were closed when the Presque Isle Power Plant was shut down Thursday afternoon. Silt and debris from floodwaters began to clog a water intake to the power plant. The power plant is expected to remain off line through Monday or possibly later. The mines may be shut down for about a week.
Officials were expected to evaluate the upper harbor and ore dock area Friday to determine when ore dock operations can continue. The Coast Guard is broadcasting a notice for mariners to watch for debris that could be submerged. The road to the plant and the ore dock was washed away in the flooding but there is a route through the power plant property that could be used to reach the area.
Friday the H. Lee White departed Marquette after monitoring the situation over night. She had arrived in the lower harbor Thursday to unload stone and was scheduled to move to the ore dock late Thursday night. The next vessel scheduled to visit Marquette was the Lee Tregurtha, due in on Monday. At this time it is unclear whether or not she will arrive.
And, the photos: