Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Midland County on Tuesday after two dams failed at the same time, resulting in flash-floods. According to estimates, as many as 10,000 residents were evacuated and lodged in various shelters opened in the county.
Due to incessant rainfall, two dams viz. Edenville and Sanford collapsed at the same time on Tuesday night, "which in the next 12 to 15 hours" would inundate downtown Midland County "under approximately nine feet of water", Whitmer said in the Tuesday's press briefing, CNN reported.
Whitmer declared a state of emergency in the Midland county and urged residents to "evacuate the area" and "get somewhere safe". In the statement released by her office, she urged residents to go to their relatives, who live in other parts of the state. Others were asked to go to one of the shelters that were opened across the county.
Michigan officials referred to the calamity as "a 500-year flood", Mid-Michigan Now reported. They raised the concern that sewage systems in the county were at a huge risk. Mark Bone, Chairman of the Midland County Board of Commissioners, said that according to his estimates, 3,500 homes and 10,000 people were affected in the evacuation process.
Videos and Pictures of Flash Flood at Midland County
Several pictures and video clips of the flash flood were shared online. One such video showed the exact moment after the Edenville Dam breached. Another showed what was left in the Wixom lake, the reservoir created by the Edenville dam, after it collapsed. An aerial view showed the Edenville, Michigan dam breach followed by water pouring out of the Wixom lake.
Thousands of residents were evacuated and lodged in the four shelters set up for the purpose. The evacuation process is especially challenging at a time when the novel coronavirus is ravaging through the state. According to Bone, all the sheltered were screened and were provided masks. Also, all emergency responders were dressed in Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) and had face masks.
As on Wednesday, Michigan has recorded 52,350 Covid-19 cases and 5,017 fatalities, according to Worldometer's tally.