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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.

a house with flood waters covering law and driveway
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Four Midland County homeowners have filed a class action lawsuit against the state of Michigan. The lawsuit alleges the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) knew about the issues with the Edenville Dam, but did not take action.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Contractors are busy repairing damage from last week’s record flood in Midland County.

Many are also victims of the flood themselves.

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. 

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

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. 

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, thousands have evacuated Midland County after dam failures led to an emergency. We check in with a hydrologist about what causes dam failure. Also, the superintendent of the West Bloomfield Public School District discusses why waiting for state guidance about this fall is not an option. Plus, a Michigan business’s quick pivot from hotel to front-line food provider during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

flooded fields
Michigan Agribusiness Association

Farmers and ranchers in 14 Michigan counties are eligible for emergency loans due to widespread damage amid severe storms and flash flooding in June.

The update from the U.S. Department of Agriculture comes after President Donald Trump last week made a disaster declaration for four Michigan counties.

flooded street in Midland
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump has made a disaster declaration for four Michigan counties that sustained widespread damage amid severe storms and flash flooding in June.

The announcement Wednesday makes federal funding available to residents and business owners in Bay, Gladwin, Isabella and Midland Counties for things such as temporary housing, repairs, and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses. The assistance will also aid the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe within Isabella County.

Michigan Agribusiness Association

Local communities in four Michigan counties hard hit by flooding last month are getting some help from the state.

In late June, more than seven inches of rain fell on parts of Bay, Gladwin, Midland and Isabella Counties last month, causing widespread floods. In many cases, damage to roads and other infrastructure has overwhelmed local resources.

Now local governments can apply for up to $100,000 from the state Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has eight teams surveying damage in four mid-Michigan counties hard hit by flooding last month.  

The FEMA assessment will play a large role in the state’s expected request for federal disaster relief.

Michigan Agri-Business Association

Michigan agri-business leaders say recent floods have devastated farm fields and heavily damaged rural infrastructure in several mid-Michigan counties.

More than seven inches of rain fell on parts of mid-Michigan last Thursday. Water inundated farmers’ fields. Dry beans appear to be the hardest hit crop, with about 10% of the crop lost, according to state agriculture industry officials.

Jim Byrum is the president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

FEMA will soon take part in a joint preliminary damage assessment of four Michigan counties hard hit by flooding this month.

Gov. Rick Snyder asked federal disaster officials to assist with a review of damage and response costs to flooding in Bay, Gladwin, Isabella and Midland counties.

Gov. Rick Snyder exits a Michigan State Police helicopter after a tour of flooded parts of Isabella and Midland counties.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Snyder says it’s important for Michiganders to “rally together” in the wake of flooding in Isabella and Midland counties.

More than seven inches of rain Thursday caused rivers to burst from their banks, inundate neighborhoods and wash out roads.

This morning, the governor spent time inspecting the flood damage on the ground and from the air. Snyder saw many parts of the region are still underwater.

A car sits in the flooded parking lot of Midland's downtown farmers' market.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

As floodwaters begin to recede, government officials are assessing the damage in Midland and Isabella counties. 

Storms dumped more than seven inches of rain on parts of mid-Michigan last week, flooding homes and washing out roads.

“In Midland County alone, there’s been 116 roads affected,” says Mark Bone, president of the Midland County Board of Commissioners. “There’s a lot of roads out there we’re still gathering the information, but there’s a lot of damage.”

Getting to work or school is going to be a problem in the areas affected by the flooding.