Michigan dams break, forcing evacuations

Rapidly rising water overtook dams and forced the evacuation of about 10,000 people in central Michigan

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May 20, 2020 - 10:09 AM

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — Rapidly rising water overtook dams and forced the evacuation of about 10,000 people in central Michigan, where flooding struck communities along rain-swollen waterways and the governor said one downtown could be “under approximately 9 feet of water” by Wednesday.

For the second time in less than 24 hours, families living along the Tittabawassee River and connected lakes in Midland County were ordered Tuesday evening to leave home. By Wednesday morning, water that was several feet high covered some streets near the river in downtown Midland, including riverside parkland, and reaching a hotel and parking lots.

The river rose Wednesday morning to 34.4 feet in Midland, topping a previous record reading of 33.9 feet set during flooding in 1986, the National Weather Service said. Its flood stage is 24 feet, and it was expected to crest by day’s end at about 38 feet.

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