- The failure of two Michigan dams on Tuesday evening led to devastating floods and the evacuation of more than 10,000 people.
- Located 140 miles north of Detroit, the Sanford Dam and the Edenville Dam broke after experiencing heavy rains, causing extreme flooding along the Tittabawassee River.
- Here is a collection of photos illustrating the disastrous impact the flooding had in Michigan.
The failure of two Michigan dams has led to devastating floods and the evacuation of more than 10,000 people.
Located 140 miles north of Detroit, the Sanford Dam and the Edenville Dam broke Tuesday evening after experiencing heavy rains, causing extreme flooding along the Tittabawassee River. The rushing water had enough force to destroy roads and bridges, while submerging homes and businesses.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Midland County, which was hit particularly hard by the flooding, and has asked for federal aid in responding to the disaster. The Tittabawassee River crested at just over 35 feet in the city of Midland on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. In addition to putting entire neighborhoods underwater, the floodwaters also hit Dow Chemical's main plant, which is located in Midland.
The Tittabawassee River is a federal Superfund cleanup site because of the Dow plant's past disposal of liquid waste into the river that released carcinogenic chemicals. The flooding prompted concern over whether the flooding would release these carcinogens into neighborhoods, and Dow issued a statement on Twitter saying there was no current threat of contaminants being leaked.
The heavy floods have also brought up questions about the impact of climate change on the environment. Climate change has to led to extreme weather that more frequently causes natural disasters like flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that destroy homes and cost lives.
This latest disaster also demonstrated how weak infrastructure can make the outcome of extreme weather even worse. Michigan rated the Edenville Dam to be in unsatisfactory condition in 2018, and the Sanford Dam was rated in fair condition.
Here is a collection of photos illustrating the devastating impact the flooding had in Michigan: