Following heavy rains and flash floods across the state, dams in Edenville and Sanford breached Tuesday night. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for one county.
Alert was sent on the phones. Residents were urged to evacuate he affected areas in Midland County immediately. Two schools were used to house evacuees in the Midland area. "In the next 12 to 15 hours, downtown Midland could be under approximately nine feet of water," Gov.Whitmer said in a news conference. "We are anticipating an historic high water level." About 100,000 people must evacuate. The timing of the dam breaches is especially difficult as officials are trying to take precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. There are masks available for everyone going into the shelters. "To go through this in the midst of a global pandemic is almost unthinkable,” Mark Bone, Chairman of the Midland County Board of Commissioners, said.
The Michigan National Guard has been activated responding to the emergency. On Monday, rain in Michigan had already spurred warnings about the stability of several dams within the state. The National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center said heavy rain could also cause flash flooding in the western Carolinas and Virginia.