MINDEN TOWNSHIP — A broken wind turbine off of Minden and Ridley roads has officials asking snowmobilers in the area to steer clear of a popular trail near the damaged turbine.
According to Minden City Fire Chief Zach Kramer, a blade snapped on the turbine sometime overnight Wednesday and it's hanging on, blowing debris across the area. The turbine is located right next to Sanilac County's snowmobile Trail No. 20, which is the main trail between Minden City and Deckerville.
Officials are working on getting that closed and rerouted due to safety concerns for riders.
"ATVs and snowmobiles need to stay out of that area where Trail 20 is, north of Ridley Road in Minden Township," said Kramer. "The blade has been swinging in the air and debris has been blowing off and going to the east. That's our main concern, because that's where the snowmobile trail is. It's right there fairly close."
Kramer added that with an expected snowstorm coming this weekend, visibility will be compromised as well, adding to the potential danger.
The blade is located in DTE Energy's Minden wind park.
Officials there became aware of the broken blade at 4:07 a.m. Thursday.
"The turbine was shut down immediately, and there were no injuries as a result of this incident," said Cynthia Hecht, senior communications specialist for DTE. "The blade fell within the safe zone, and remains 50 to 70 feet away from the tower. No pieces were found outside of the approved zoning safe area."
Teams from DTE Energy and GE were on site Thursday afternoon and the area has been secured, Hecht said.
"DTE immediately notified the (township) supervisor and has started an investigation," she added.
DTE commissioned the 20-turbine Minden wind park in December 2012.
It is located south of Minden City in Sanilac County.