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Midland, Michigan. How bad is it ?

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Richard,  remember when the Oroville dam nearly failed in 2017 ?


188,000 people evacuated.  Horses and livestock !  Freeways converted to one-way.


Michigan authorities are expecting other dams to fail due to extremely heavy rains.

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15 minutes ago, Doug said:

Richard,  remember when the Oroville dam nearly failed in 2017 ?

Not Richard but I sure remember. Oroville is about an hour drive from me, our Congregation was on alert to be ready to receive guests.

Thankfully the dam thing held and nobody got hurt, or lost much. It sure was interesting watching it develop, shown on the T.V.... 

Edited by tekmantwo
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Because of the Edenville failure there has been a breach in the Sanford dam.  The Sanford dam is about 7 miles below.



MIDLAND COUNTY (WJRT) (5/19/2020) - Residents along the Tittabawassee River below the Edenville and Sanford dams are urged to evacuate as the structures are failing.

Flooding in the Sanford area on May 19, 2020 (courtesy of Michael Connell - TC Vortex)

Midland County 911 issued an emergency flash flood warning around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday advising the Edenville Dam breached. Around 7 p.m., they issued another warning that the Sanford Dam was about to collapse.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said water eventually breached Sanford Dam later in the evening. Water levels downstream toward the city of Midland were expected to rise rapidly.

Whitmer said downtown Midland could be under 9 feet of water Tuesday night.

An Midland County 911 advisory says life-threatening flash flooding is possible along the Tittabawassee River below the Edenville Dam heading toward the Sanford Dam and farther downstream.

Anyone in low-lying areas between the Edenville and Sanford dams through the city of Midland was ordered to seek higher ground immediately.


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A mix of aging dams and climate change are to blame.



The perilous state of aging, privately held U.S. dams

A U.S. Corps of Engineers database, the National Inventory of Dams, shows that the Edenville and Sanford dams were both built in 1925 and owned by Boyce Hydro Power (which also owns two other dams on the Tittabawasse River). Both the Edenville and Sanford dams were rated as “high hazard”, meaning that loss of human life is likely were the dam to fail.


Extreme rains fueled the Michigan flood, and Midwest precipitation is increasing and intensifying with climate change

This week’s dam failures in central Michigan came after two days of intense rainfall on the north side of a slow-moving cut-off low making its way from the Midwest to the Appalachians. Midland reported a 48-hour rainfall total on Monday and Tuesday of 4.79”, its third highest two-day total in 50 years of recordkeeping behind only 11.78” on Sept. 10-11, 1986, and 8.05” on Sept. 11-12, 1986 (the multiday event that drove the previous record flood in Midland). 

With 12 days left in the month, Midland is just 1.35” away from its wettest May on record (7.32” in 2004).

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