2020 flood | Michigan Radio
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2020 flood

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan will soon move forward with repairs to part of the remaining section of the Edenville Dam. 

The dam’s failure on May 19 contributed to a 500-year flood event that damaged thousands of homes and businesses.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says Michigan should invest more money and hire more staff in its dam safety office.

The failure of two dams back in May and the resulting record flooding along the Tittabawassee River led the state to commission an analysis of Michigan’s dam safety program. The analysis was made by experts from the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO).

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan regulators are ordering the owners of the Edenville dam to make critically needed repairs to the structure.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A special task force set up to study Michigan’s dam safety rules and regulations met virtually for the first time Tuesday.

Liesl Clark is the head of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.  And she's a member of the 19-person task force.

She says the task force was formed after two dam failures in May helped create devastating floods in Midland and Gladwin counties.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A company that owns two mid-Michigan dams that failed in May has filed for bankruptcy. The filings were made in the federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A workers’ rights group is asking the state of Michigan to step up protections for workers who may be exposed to COVID-19. That's after dozens of people brought in to clean up flood damage in Midland tested positive for the virus.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for mid-Michigan counties affected by May’s floods.

The president tweeted on Thursday that he approved a major disaster declaration to provide more than $43 million in federal funds to “help the people of the GREAT State of Michigan recover from the recent dam break flooding.” 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State environmental officials say tests along the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers are not showing recent floods caused dioxin and other contamination to spread.

In May, heavy rains and dam failures created a 500-year-flood in Midland County, including areas with histories of contamination from Dow Chemical.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan election officials are encouraging voters to cast absentee ballots to reduce their potential exposure to COVID-19. 

But flooding last month has complicated those efforts in Midland County.  

The May 19 flood damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses. More than 10,000 people were forced to evacuate. Some Midland county residents are still living in campers, tents or with friends and relatives.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking for a federal major disaster declaration for five Michigan counties still recovering from May floods.

In her letter to President Donald Trump, Gov. Whitmer says Midland, Gladwin, Iosco, Saginaw, and Arenac counties suffered a quarter billion dollars (at least $190 million for residents and over $55 million public infrastructure) in damage from flooding last month.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The flood that was caused by heavy rains and the failure of two dams near Midland caused property damage far downstream. But the long term damage might be in the contamination of wildlife.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report confirms that the Edenville Dam didn’t meet state standards before it failed in May.

The study was conducted by the Spicer Group, a Saginaw-based engineering firm, on behalf of the Four Lakes Task Force, a local group that was in the process of buying Edenville and three other dams at the time of the disaster.

Clinton Snider / clintonsnider.com

Michigan’s Attorney General filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the owner of the two dams that failed last month causing historic floods.

On May 19, the Edenville dam failed after days of heavy rain. Torrents of water rushed downstream, overwhelming the Sanford dam and forcing thousands to evacuate.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A group representing Midland and Gladwin County residents wants an independent review of the failures of two dams last month that created historic flooding.

On May 19, after days of heavy rain, Edenville Dam broke, sending torrents of water downstream. The water overwhelmed the Sanford Dam. Thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes in Midland County.

Michelle Hurd Riddick (used with permission)

The two dams that broke near Midland caused a massive flood that swept away bridges, roads, and damaged a lot of property. Because Midland is home to Dow’s original chemical complex, a lot of people were concerned about hazardous waste or waste in ponds at Dow.

State of Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to ask for a federal disaster declaration for parts of Michigan hard hit by flooding last month.

Heavy rains flooded towns and overflowed dams in parts of mid-Michigan, including Midland and Gladwin Counties. Thousands were forced to evacuate their homes as the Tittabawassee River rose to a record height. Weeks later, many people are still cleaning and repairing their homes and businesses. 

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In Gladwin County, restaurants can open for dine-in service.

Since March, the governor’s executive orders intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 prevented Michigan restaurants from offering dine-in service.

But severe flooding this month is opening the doors to restaurants in Gladwin County.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered a state investigation into why two privately owned dams failed last week in Midland County contributing to record flooding.

After the Edenville and Sanford Dams failed, thousands were forced to evacuate and many towns along the Tittabawassee River suffered extensive damage.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s two U.S. Senators are calling for more regulation of privately owned dams, in the wake of this week’s massive flood on the Tittabawassee River.

Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters toured the flood zone Saturday by air and on the ground with local officials and FEMA’s regional administrator.

The failure of two privately owned dams Tuesday, after days of heavy rain, helped create the record setting flood on the Tittabawassee River that forced thousands to evacuate, and damaged homes, businesses, roads and bridges. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

FEMA’s regional administrator says his office will not be conducting the usual door-to-door assessment of flood damage in Midland County.

Last Tuesday, two dams failed after days of heavy rain, unleashing damaging floods along the Tittabawassee River.    

The flood forced thousands to evacuate in the city of Midland. It also devastated the small community of Sanford. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The devastating flooding in Midland is causing concern about potential environmental contamination. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy indicates until the flood waters recede, it will be difficult to determine the extent of any contamination.

However, the long-standing problem along the Tittabawassee River has been dioxin contamination from the Dow chemical complex.

The World Health Organization indicates dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.

State of Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has expanded the state of emergency declaration for this week’s devastating floods to include Arenac, Gladwin, and Saginaw Counties.

The original declaration covered only Midland County.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Many people in Midland County will be spending their Memorial Day holiday weekend cleaning up from this week’s massive flood.

It’s the very beginning of a process that may take months or years to restore or rebuild.