Heavy rains in Michigan have caused two major dams to fail, resulting in massive flooding and forcing about 10,000 people to evacuate. Flooding in Midland County is "life-threatening," the National Weather Service said Wednesday as it urged people to evacuate and seek higher ground.
Heavy rains contributed to the failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams. The entire length of the Tittabawassee River is now under a flood warning.
A Flood Warning is in effect along the Tittabawassee River in Midland Co. due to the failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams. The gauge site at Midland exceeded the previous record stage of 33.89’ at approximately 5:30am. Life-threatening flooding continues today. #miwx pic.twitter.com/ddr3b4arWA— NWS Detroit (@NWSDetroit) May 20, 2020
Michigan's governor, Gretchen Whitmer, declared a state of emergency for Midland County amid the flooding. "If you have not evacuated the area, do so now and get somewhere safe," Whitmer said. "This is unlike anything we’ve seen in Midland County."
Aerial video showed water pouring out of Wixom Lake after the Edenville dam failed to contain it.
.@GovWhitmer declared a state of emergency for @midlandcountymi after the Edenville & Sanford Dams breached. “If you have not evacuated the area, do so now and get somewhere safe,” said Gov. Whitmer. “This is unlike anything we’ve seen in Midland County." https://t.co/hMmN5QBdlQ https://t.co/oC3YzKv8Ls— Michigan.gov (@migov) May 20, 2020
Three to four inches of rain have fallen in the area since Sunday, the Detroit Free Press reported, which caused both the Tittabawassee and the Rifle River to swell to their major flood stage.
The Edenville dam has a troubled history, the paper reported, and in 2018, regulators revoked its hydroelectric power generating license over safety concerns, including its inability to withstand floods.