As flood waters begin to recede, fewer Midland County residents staying in shelters | Michigan Radio
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As flood waters begin to recede, fewer Midland County residents staying in shelters

May 21, 2020

More than 10,000 Midland County residents were ordered to evacuate their homes as flood waters rose following the failure of two dams
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A dwindling number of people remain in flood evacuation centers in Midland County.

Thousands of Midland county residents were ordered to evacuate their homes after a pair of dams failed after days of heavy rain earlier this week. Many are still waiting for the waters to recede. 

As flood waters rose Tuesday night, more than 250 people sought shelter in the county’s six evacuation centers.  

After the Tittabawassee River crested in the city of Midland Wednesday that number dropped to 61.

John Searles is the Superintendent of the Midland County Educational Service Agency. He’s been in charge of the county’s six shelters. He expects the number of people will continue to decline as people stay with family, friends or make other arrangements.

Searles says local leaders are weighing whether to close or move the current shelters.

But he’s concerned what happens next.

“What we don’t know is as the water recedes and the mucking out and the restoration process starts whether or not we’ll see an influx of folks as they find out that their homes are uninhabitable,” says Searles.

The county is working with a group out of Louisiana to map out potential long-term shelter options for people displaced by the flood.

The Tittabawassee River is expected to fully recede in Midland by next Monday.

The river continues to rise in parts of Saginaw County.  

The Saginaw River is also rising. It’s expected to be remain in moderate flood level until next Tuesday.    

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