RCA TRAININGRoot Cause Analysis training by Sologic provides the tools, skills, and knowledge necessary to solve complex problems in any sector, within any discipline, and of any scale. Learn More
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On May 19, 2020, there were two catastrophic, sequential dam failures on Wixom Lake (Edenville) and Sanford Lake on the Tittabawassee River system in central Michigan. These failures forced the evacuation of over 10,000 residents and resulted in damage to homes, businesses, and structures costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Despite the devastation, one very surprising aspect of this event received very little attention; there were no fatalities or serious injuries. While this RCA explores the underlying technical causes for the dam failures, the main focus is to highlight what 'went right' such that no fatalities or serious injuries occurred. The absence of injury/fatality was in part the result of prior risk assessments which identified the possibility and/or likelihood of this very event. As an outcome of the risk assessments, solutions to causes of potential mass injury/fatality (as a result of a dam failure) were proactively deployed and refined prior to the actual event happening.