Devastating Flooding Hits East Central Michigan
Weather conditions for most of the state today are pretty nice with most of the rain moving out of the area. But what’s been left behind is now taking a significant toll. Thousands of people on the northwest side of the City of Midland, and then to the northwest along the Titabawasee River are ordered to evacuate and get to high ground. One dam has failed and another in the area is on the brink. Midland County is being declared a disaster area.
The Edenville Dam on the river couldn’t handle the heavy flow and by mid-day yesterday it was causing flooding in the area of Wixom Lake, essentially an impoundment created by the dam. Later in the day, it was breached and the downriver impact got worse by the minute. Hundreds of homes are flooded. Now, local emergency leaders believe the dam at Sanford Lake, another impoundment along the Titabasassee, may break open. That’s leading to evacuations nearly 7 miles back to the south, well into the City of Midland. Nearby US-10, a major traffic corridor for the area, is now blocked in both directions. Some early emergency shelters are endangered by the new flooding and are being closed and new sites opening.
While the damage along the Titabawassee River is extensive, there are damages statewide from the heavy rains going back to late last week. Roads in nearly every county in the southern half of the lower peninsula are closed because of flooding. That includes Stone Jug Road on the southwest side of Battle Creek. Flood related damages to Michigan’s agricultural crops is not known yet. But the impact is not welcomed following the devastating freezing conditions in April and again last week. All of Michigan’s fruit crops were hit hard by the freezing. Many vegetable crops didn’t fare much better.