Extensive Flooding

May 21, 2020

As of 20 May 2020, extensive flooding continues to inundate central areas of the U.S. state of Michigan after the Edenville and Sanford dams collapsed the previous day. Authorities ordered approximately 10,000 residents to evacuate from the city of Midland — located approximately 140 mi (210 km) from Detroit — and the nearby towns of Edenville and Sanford as well as Saginaw, Thomas and Tittabawassee. Officials have warned that downtown Midland could be under 9 ft (2.75 m) of water by the afternoon hours of 20 May. The National Weather Service estimates the Tittabawassee River will crest at 38 ft, which is 4 ft higher than its record level. The river breached the two dams following days of heavy rains across Michigan; the Edenville Dam succumbed to rising water levels after the area received more than 2.5 in (63.5 mm) of rain on 19 May, which sent floodwaters to Sanford Dam — located about 7 mi downriver — forcing the latter to collapse. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued a state of emergency for Midland County and deployed National Guard personnel to assist with relief and rescue efforts. There have been no reports of flood-related injuries or deaths.

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