The agency said it had been pressing the dam’s owner, Boyce Hydro Power, since 2004 to upgrade the dam so it could survive a “probable maximum flood event,” meaning the worst combination of bad weather and high runoff that could reasonably be expected. President Donald Trump, who is scheduled to visit Michigan Thursday, posted his support on Twitter for efforts to respond to flooding in mid-Michigan that has resulted in thousands of evacuations. Without an upgrade, the agency’s engineers believed the dam could handle only about 50 percent of the floodwaters from such an event. Four to seven inches of rain drenched the area on Sunday and Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Two dams in Central Michigan were breached by rain-swollen floodwaters on Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents and prompting officials to warn of life-threatening danger. The threat to the Dow complex highlights the risks to Superfund and other toxic cleanup sites posed by the effects of climate change, which include more frequent and severe flooding. The compound, which also houses the chemical giant’s world headquarters, lies on the banks of the Tittabawassee River. The rising waters were beginning to threaten the rear and basement of his building. Here are some of the latest rain total reports from the National Weather Service. But he also used the occasion to repeat his criticism of Governor Whitmer for not lifting coronavirus restrictions faster. Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. The heavy rainfall was expected overnight, but why so much liquid? He made a similar threat against Nevada. She acknowledged that distancing would be difficult in shelters that had been set up in the area. The reservoir behind the dam is known as Wixom Lake. Read more: Flooding in Michigan: Everything we know about Midland County dam break. The Twitter post on voting was the latest in a series of broadsides the president has aimed at the vote-by-mail process, which has become the primary vehicle for voting in an electoral system transformed by the coronavirus pandemic. Residents in nearby towns, including Edenville, Sanford and Midland, were evacuated. Water floods the Midland Area Farmers Market and the bridge along the Tittabawassee River in Midland, Mich. on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. We are all fighting for our lives here, and the economy.”. “Everything was going really good — February and January were the best months that we’ve had in years — and then the Covid hit,” he said. It would mark his first trip to the state since January and comes at a time when his campaign advisers are increasingly concerned about his chances there. “Today President Trump threatened to harm the people of Michigan because their elected officials are making it easier for them to vote,” Mr. Kristol tweeted. A view of the flooded area near the Sanford dam on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. The state chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers said in a 2018 report that two-thirds of the state’s dams were older than the typical 50-year designed life span, and many were abandoned, poorly maintained or inadequate to resist severe floods. Regulators worried in 2018 that the Edenville Dam could not handle heavy flooding. Trump tweeted support, after threatening to withhold funds from the state over voting by mail. ... LATEST UPDATE – Many folks are waking up to flooded backyards and streets. [Read about the new crisis Michigan is facing: flooding.]. Start the day smarter. Governor Whitmer responded to Mr. Trump’s comments at her midday news conference on Wednesday, saying, “To see Twitter this morning and to see rhetoric like that is disheartening.”, She added, “We are all Americans. A man walks across a washed-out West Saginaw Road in Sanford, Michigan, after the area saw flooding and damage from heavy rains throughout central Michigan, May 21. Crowds gathered in Midland to see the floodwaters as the Tittabawassee River rose. Dan Reicher, a former assistant energy secretary in the Clinton administration, said dams under state jurisdiction often go woefully ignored. The Lansing Area Flood of 1975 impacted South Central Lower Michigan. The state averages about two dam failures a year, though they tend to be smaller structures that pose little threat to public safety, the report said. Drone image posted on twitter on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 8:28 AM by Timothy Wenzel (@ttwenzel) with the following caption: "The morning after Edenville dam breach (drone view) Edenville Michigan #edenvilledam", Floodwater surrounds Wixom Lake Gas & Launch, Tuesday, May 19, 2020, along the Tittabawassee River in Beaverton, Mich. An evacuation order was released the night before for residents of Sanford and Wixom Lakes, warning of "imminent dam failure.". People living along two mid-Michigan lakes and parts of a river have been evacuated following several days of heavy rain that produced flooding and put pressure on dams in the area. The city is home to Dow, the chemical giant, whose influence is apparent everywhere in town, from the Midland Center for the Arts and Dow Gardens to H.H. Main Street in downtown Midland, which had been transformed into a wide pedestrian thoroughfare filled with benches, Adirondack chairs, firepits and blooming trees, was filled with people at midday who were curious about the rising waters less than a block away. The area around Dow’s headquarters in Midland was flooding. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave an update Wednesday on the state's response to the recent flooding, saying that water levels wouldn't peak until later in the evening. Taste the Local Difference: Harwood Gold Store & Cafe, Man to Spend Decades Behind Bars for Making Child Porn in Mason County, Michigan AG Investigating Threats Against Wayne County Canvassers, District Health Department #10 No Longer Publishing COVID-19 Public Exposure Sites, Firefighters Battle Massive Fire at Penney's Lumber Near Houghton Lake, WATCH: Munson Q&A on the Coronavirus Crisis, GTPulse: Piping Plovers - Lovers Of Indifference, Corn and Cob: Pres. the Tittabawasse River hit a historic high, revoked the hydro-power generating license for the collapsed Edenville Dam, Midland floods in midst of pandemic leave residents shell shocked, Track Tittabawassee River levels in Midland after dams break, causing record flooding, who is scheduled to visit Michigan Thursday. Floodwaters Breach Michigan Dams, Forcing Evacuations. “It’s very unusual.”. “The overall price tag for addressing the major problems is about $70 billion.”. Community volunteers gather donations and make beds for incoming residents that have been evacuated from their homes in Midland, Mich. after Edenville and Sanford dams failed flooding the area, photographed on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. “The initial readout was that this was a known problem for a while,” the governor said, “and that’s why it’s important that we do our due diligence and we take our action as merited.”. Like many states across the country, Michigan has a large number of deficient or aging dams. Our normal production has been down about 50 percent.”. She found refuge with her friend Linda Calzadillas in Midland, and the pair drove down to survey the river, which had already swamped the city’s Farmer’s Market and was edging toward Main Street. A pair of jet skiers roared down the Tittabawassee River, which was expected to rise nearly 10 feet above flood level. Read about how the flooding disaster in Michigan came on top of the pain of the pandemic. MICHIGAN FLOODING: Gov. There were two frontal boundaries that made all of this possible. “It’s hard to believe that we’re in the middle of a 100-year crisis, a global pandemic, and we’re also dealing with a flooding event that looks to be the worst in 500 years,” Ms. Whitmer said. Given the extent of the expected flooding around Midland, it “seems unlikely the Dow plant site will be spared,” Michelle Hurd Riddick, a member of the environmental group Lone Tree Council, said in a text message from Midland. Julie Bosman, Kathy Gray, Christine Hauser, Annie Karni, Alex Lemonides, Patrick J. Lyons, Steven Moity and Ivan Penn contributed reporting. In Sanford, a village of about 580 people in Midland County, water coursed through the streets, video from local news agencies showed. The failures of the Edenville Dam and the Sanford Dam, about 140 miles northwest of Detroit, led the National Weather Service to issue a flash-flood warning for areas near the Tittabawassee River, with downstream effects expected from Midland to Saginaw. About 10,000 people were evacuating from Midland, which has a total population of more than 41,000, and about 1,000 more residents in townships outside of the city were ordered to leave their homes, Bridgette Gransden, a Midland County spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. The Sanford Dam is downstream on the Tittabawassee. Onlookers gathered in Midland’s threatened downtown. Late Tuesday she declared a state of emergency for Midland County, saying parts of the city of Midland, the village of Sanford, Edenville Township, and Dow Chemical had been or were being evacuated.

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