MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — Rapidly rising water has overtaken dams and forced the evacuation of about 10,000 people in central Michigan, where flooding struck several communities along rain-swollen waterways.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen says among the threatened areas is downtown Midland, which by Wednesday could be “under approximately 9 feet of water."
On Wednesday morning, water that was several feet high covered some downtown streets near the river, reaching a hotel and parking lots.
The city of 42,000 is home to Dow Chemical Co.’s main plant, which sits on the riverbank.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for locations along the Tittabawassee River after the breach at the Edenville Dam in northern Midland County and the Sanford Dam located about 8 miles downriver.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has activated the National Guard to help relocate people. That’s after water breached two dams – causing historic flooding.
Shelters have been set up. 150 patients have been moved from a hospital.
Governor Whitmer declared the situation dire, and said people need to leave the flood zone immediately.
“Please, do not hesitate. Go stay with a friend or a relative, or get to one of these shelters now,” Whitmer urged impacted residents.
The governor said people should also do their best to maintain social distancing and use other precautions to avoid a resurgence of COVID-19 as emergency responders try to manage two crises at the same time.