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Flooding

governor gretchen whitmer chats with a lawmaker after signing a bill
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 27 in Ypsilanti on Monday. The bill appropriates $384.7 million dollars in supplemental money. Most of the money comes from federal COVID-19 relief, but $17 million comes from the state's general fund.

More than $105 million will go to providing childcare to Michiganders, particularly for frontline workers.

Courtesy of Dan Austin

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking the White House for a disaster declaration to secure federal aid to deal with damage from last month's flooding in southeast Michigan.

Parts of the region saw about 7 inches of rain over a 12-hour period between the night of June 25 and the morning of June 26.

Dan Austin

The CEO of the Great Lakes Water Authority detailed on Friday what went wrong at two Detroit pumping stations during the height of last weekend’s torrential rains and flooding.

Sue McCormick said power failures caused “operational issues” at two pumping stations on Detroit’s east side—Freud and Conner Creek. That area suffered some of the worst flooding in Metro Detroit after being pummeled with nearly seven inches of rain in several hours.

Macomb County Public Works/YouTube screengrab

Why did the Conner Creek pumping station on Detroit’s east side lose power and fail during last Saturday’s torrential storms, exacerbating serious flooding?

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller says people deserve answers from the Great Lakes Water Authority, which operates Conner Creek and the Detroit area’s regional water infrastructure. Macomb County is a GLWA member.

jimmiehomeschoolmom / flickr

Today on Stateside, we speak with Dearborn’s State Representative on the needed infrastructure investments to deal with Michigan’s on-going floods. Next up, a year of homeschooling and self-determination for Black families as they make their decisions to keep their children homeschooled or prepare them for traditional school. Lastly, after 30 years of Federal law enforcement, retired FBI agent Greg Stejskal has come out with a book on famous Michigan cases.

Detroit flooding
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we talk with an environmental law expert about the massive flooding in Detroit and surrounding communities. Plus, we meet a Detroit artist who thinks about the fluidity of form, and of thought. And, we check in with two health officials in very different Michigan communities that are tackling the same problem -- low COVID-19 vaccination rates.

Flooding tells 'two different stories' in Michigan

Apr 28, 2021
Courtesy: Mike Bach

Access to ample water supplies could make Michigan a climate refuge. That scenario is attracting considerable attention in the Great Lakes State.

But climate change also is disrupting the earth’s meteorological cycles. Which means more fierce Great Lakes region storms and more floods.

The consequences are not evenly distributed. Or, in the words of Jeremy Porter, the head of research and development at First Street Foundation, a Brooklyn-based research group, flooding tells “two different stories.” 

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.

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.

A red bridge flooded in Midland
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This is a developing story. It will be updated with new information as we receive it. Please check back.

Update: Wednesday, May 20, 12:48 a.m.

The city of Midland is bracing for the worst.

A pair of dam failures, fueled by up to eight inches of rain this week, have swelled the Tittabawassee River. The river flows through the city’s center.

Midland City Manager Brad Kaye says the flood could leave part of the city under nine feet of water.

“The 1986 flood that most people remember, that were here at least, or if you weren’t here, you certainly heard about it, was a 100-year flood. What we’re looking at is an event that is the equivalent of a 500-year flood,” says Kaye.

Source: https://water.weather.gov/precip/ / NOAA

Parts of Michigan ended the year under flood advisories, as the state’s rivers continue to be high from an extremely wet 2019.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for parts of the Grand, Muskegon and Saginaw rivers.

Photo shows the inside of a culvert. It's square with concrete walls and a very shallow stream of water is running through it.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Climate change is likely to bring more extreme rainfall and flooding to Michigan. So, flood risk in the next 100 years will probably look very different than in the last. But, much of our infrastructure, like culverts, bridges, and storm drains, is still being designed and built based on the floods of the past.


Leland's Fishtown in the rain
Fishtown Preservation Society

Today on Stateside, rising water levels in the Great Lakes could threaten historic buildings in Leland’s Fishtown. Plus, there’s been another setback in a years-long effort to improve mental health care in Michigan. 

The Mississippi River is rising again as torrential rain falls across much of the Midwest. It's the latest in a series of storms that have flooded major cities and small communities along the length of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers on and off for more than a month.

Detroit flooding
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s historic Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood faces a persistent flooding threat until early summer—and the city is calling for volunteer help in an effort to save people’s homes.

Wayne County / via Facebook, used with permission

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Wayne County on Thursday night, just hours after Wayne County Executive Warren Evans requested her to do so.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared an emergency in Newaygo County.

The county was hard hit by flooding since last week from the combination of heavy rain and snowmelt.

water flowing into a sewage grate
Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A group of Detroit residents suing the city's Water and Sewerage Department may soon have their case heard by the Michigan Supreme Court. The plaintiffs, who allege that the department's drainage rate is an unlawful tax, finished briefing the court this week.   

damaged road and car
Vicky Ingram

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration has given western Upper Peninsula counties a grant to rebuild flood-damaged roads.

A graph shows annual average temperature values for the State of Michigan from 1895 through 2018. The graph varies widely from year to year but shows a general upward trend.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

New Year, new data. Climate change continues to affect the mitten state. Here are four places you should keep watching for it.

KAYE LAFOND / Michigan Radio

The federal government has again rejected Michigan’s request for federal assistance to Upper Peninsula residents hit hard by flooding in June.

Branch County Drain Commissioner

  

Update, 3:54 p.m. on 8/20/18:

The Branch County Drain Commissioner reports that repairs to the Blackhawk Dam continue Monday, and the repairs have returned the dam to normal flow and operation. 

The dam will be evaluated by engineers to establish a long-term strategy.  The Flood Watch issued by the National Weather Service for the Coldwater River and Pilot Knob area will expire August 20th.  

The risk for flooding has been reduced. Residents in the affected area should continue to monitor local media outlets and official messaging for the latest information and updates.  Branch County Emergency Management and the City of Coldwater will continue to monitor the situation.

A living room, with a couch and a window, is shown with inches of mud piled on the carpet.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

In mid-June, massive floods devastated parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The situation has been declared an emergency by both the state and federal government.

This week, Bridge Magazine reporter Jim Malewitz did a deep dive into what the recovery looks like in the region nearly two months later.

damaged road and car
Vicky Ingram

Flooding in the Upper Peninsula earlier this month prompted Governor Rick Snyder to declare a second state of disaster for Houghton County.

The declaration will open up additional resources and money for areas that were still recovering from severe flooding in June.

That flooding washed away large chunks of concrete and asphalt, damaged homes, and killed a 12-year-old boy.

Several roads that had already been repaired were damaged again this month.

A flooded road in Houghton.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

The state is asking President Trump to declare three Upper Peninsula counties hit by flash flooding last month disaster areas.

Lt. Governor Brian Calley wants the federal designation extended to Houghton, Gogebic, and Menominee counties. Those counties were hit by record-breaking rainfall on June 17th, flooding homes, buckling roads, and causing one death.

A living room, with a couch and a window, is shown with inches of mud piled on the carpet.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Record rainfall devastated large parts of Houghton County earlier this month. Flash flooding killed a 12-year-old boy when the basement of his house collapsed. It damaged hundreds of homes and caused at least $100 million in damage to infrastructure.

damaged road and car
Vicky Ingram

Storms moving across the Upper Peninsula washed out several roads in the Houghton and Hancock areas and created dozens of sinkholes across the Keweenaw Peninsula.

a map of Luna Pier's flood risk
City of Luna Pier

Updated on Friday, May 18 at 4:28 p.m.

Inmates from a county jail and volunteers were filling sand bags along part of the Lake Erie shoreline in southeastern Michigan to help prevent neighborhood flooding from waves bursting through a damaged seawall.

The Monroe News reports that some residents in Frenchtown Township's Grand Beach subdivision and Allen's Cove in Luna Pier were evacuated Friday due to the rising water.

The Monroe County Drain Commission placed storm pumps along the shoreline to help remove lake water from around homes.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Michiganders hard hit by heavy flooding in February are getting some help.

Gov. Snyder declared a state of disaster for 17 counties and two cities after heavy rainfall and snowmelt resulted in widespread flooding damage.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the state’s request for a physical and economic disaster declaration for four Michigan counties.

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