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Gov. Whitmer issues emergency declaration after dam break in Mid Michigan

Posted at 9:48 PM, May 19, 2020

Residents of Edenville and Sanford in Mid-Michigan have been ordered to evacuate after the breach of a dam and the "imminent failure" of another.

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Watch FOX 47 News at 10 as we cut into a Press Conference where Governor Whitmer will be speaking about the Midland Flooding and the emergency order.


At 5:44 p.m. Tuesday, Midland County dispatch and emergency management reported that the Edenville Dam on the Tittabawassee River had collapsed, according to the National Weather Service.

There's expected life-threatening flash flooding to come from this dam failure. The warning is in effect until 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, and is for the Tittabawassee river from the Sanford Dam to the Chippawassee school area in East Central Midland County. The National Weather Service warns that if you are living in low lying areas below the Edenville Dam, you should move to higher ground immediately. Also, do not attempt to drive across flooded roadways.

Just after 8:30 p.m., county dispatch said that failure of the Sanford Dam is imminent. People down stream of the Sanford Dam are told to seek higher ground immediately because the impact of the situation could be deadly.

In response to the dam break, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office said an emergency declaration will soon follow.

“The governor will issue an emergency declaration this evening to ensure state and local officials have the resources they need to respond," Whitmer said in a statement. "The State Emergency Operations Center is already activated and fully engaged in the response. State officials from multiple departments have been on-site throughout the day. We will share additional information as it becomes available.”

Two schools were opened for evacuees in the Midland area, about 140 miles north of Detroit, after the breach of Edenville Dam. The dam holds back Wixom Lake.

Editor's Note: The Associated Press attributed to this article

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