Floodwaters have overtaken dams and forced the evacuation of about 10,000 people from communities in central MI, where the governor warned that Dow Chemical Co.'s hometown could end up under 9 feet of water by Wednesday evening and said the state will investigate the dam operators.
Videos and images captured by witnesses show just how much water was unleashed when Michigan's Edenville Dam failed.
A dam breach in central MI that forced thousands to evacuate has swelled the Tittabawasse River to its highest level in history, forecasters said Wednesday.
"We were back at home and starting to feel comfortable that things were calming down", said Catherine Sias, who lives about 1 mile (1.6km) from the Edenville Dam and first left home early on Tuesday morning. According to estimates, as many as 10,000 residents were evacuated and lodged in various shelters opened in the county. Midland, a town of 42,000, has a major Dow Chemical plant on the city's riverbank.
"All operating units on site have been safely shutdown, except for facilities needed for safely managing chemical containment, and all railcars are secured", the statement said.
Damaged utility poles are seen during flooding in downtown Sanford Michigan
"We are going to navigate this together, so please, to the best of your ability continue to wear a face covering when you go to a shelter or go stay with a friend or relative", she stated.
"We are anticipating the height being around 8 o'clock tonight", Whitmer said during a press conference.
The Tittabawassee River breached the Edenville and Sanford dams north of Midland on Tuesday evening after days of heavy rain.
The dam collapses have led to impassable roads, a boil water advisory - and raised regulatory questions about Edenville Dam's hydro-power generating license.
The Tittabawassee River is expected to crest at 38 feet by Thursday morning, surpassing the previous record of 33.9 feet set during a 500-year flood event in 1986. Both are in the process of being sold.
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