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article imageEvacuations ordered after two dams in Michigan collapse

By Karen Graham     May 20, 2020 in Environment
Midland - On Tuesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared an emergency for Midland county after two dams breached and on expectations of extreme flooding.
According to the National Weather Service, Wednesday morning, the Tittabawassee River was expected to crest at a record of 38ft, impacting Midland and Gladwin counties in central Michigan. The river floods when water is above 24ft, and it is currently over 34ft.
The first dam to fail was the Edenville Dam. It collapsed on Tuesday afternoon during heavy rainfall. The rush of water, in turn, caused the downstream Sanford Dam on the Tittabawassee River to fail, according to Insider.
By Wednesday morning, towns around the Tittabawassee River were covered in several feet of water. The full extent of the damages, so far, remains unclear, but about 3,500 homes and 10,000 people have been affected by evacuation notices, Mark Bone, chairman of the Midland County Board of Commissioners, told CNN.
In declaring an emergency for the two counties, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said, "If you have a family member or loved one who lives in another part of the state, go there now. If you don't, go to one of the shelters that have opened across the county."
"In the next 12 to 15 hours, downtown Midland could be under approximately nine feet of water," Whitmer said in the news conference. "We are anticipating an historic high water level." The Michigan National Guard has been assisting in the response, the governor said.
A Midland pilot - Ryan Kaleto - captured this scene of the Edenville Dam embankment failing on May 19, 2020, in Midland County, Michigan.
In a statement, Dow Chemical said it has activated its local emergency operations center and is implementing its flood preparedness plan which includes the safe shutdown of operating units on site.
More about Michigan, Heavy rains, two dams, state of emergency, Governor Gretchen Whitmer
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