Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an emergency declaration after the Edenville Dam and Sanford dams failed in Midland County, forcing thousands of residents to immediately evacuate their homes on Tuesday.
Downtown Midland could be under 9 feet of water by Wednesday morning, Gov. Whitmer said during a Livestream on Tuesday night following the two collapses. A flash flood emergency is in effect for the areas downstream, which includes Midland City and Freeland, Michigan.
Midland County emergency management told people in Midland City, Michigan, who are located west of Eastman and south of US 10, to evacuate immediately on Tuesday afternoon, according to NBC25.
A slow-moving storm doused Michigan with heavy rains over the period of several days, triggering fear of imminent dam failure and flood warnings across the state.
At least two rivers in mid-Michigan, the Tittabawassee River in Midland and the Rifle River near Sterling, reached their major flood stage on Tuesday afternoon, sending dams past their limits.
Areas around Midland reported 3-4 inches of rain since Sunday, which produced a “tremendous” amount of runoff and is causing significant rises on the river system, the National Weather Service said.
DETROIT — Urging residents to evacuate and warning that downtown Midland could be under 9 feet of water by Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Midland County after the Edenville and Sanford dams breached.
Speaking during a press conference late Tuesday, Whitmer said parts of the city of Midland, the village of Sanford, Edenville Township and Dow Chemical had been or were being evacuated. She said officials were working to evacuate residents in Tittabawassee, Thomas and Saginaw townships.
Parts of Midland Township, Lincoln Township and Homer Township had also been evacuated, according to alerts on Midland County’s emergency management system, with tens of thousands of people potentially affected by flooding along the Tittabawassee River with a flood warning in effect through Wednesday morning.
With nearly two weeks remaining in the month, Chicago is poised to smash the record for wettest May on record thanks to a series of heavy rainfall events.
According to data from the National Weather Service, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport has reported 8.19 inches of rain this month, already making this the third-wettest May since record keeping began in the 1950s.
The all-time record that the city could potentially break hasn’t exactly stood for very long. According to NBC 5 Storm Team Meteorologist Paul Deanno, the record was set in 2019, with 8.25 inches of rain falling during the month.
New updated flood model showing the #DOW Chemical Plant expected to be flooded as well as a near by power plant. #EdenvilleDam #Midland #Michigan #USA #Sanford #Edenville
— Aurora Intel – #StayHome (@AuroraIntel) May 20, 2020