UPDATED 7:38 AM PT — Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Thousands of Michigan residents were forced to evacuate after heavy rains lead to two dam failures and flash flooding in lakeside areas of the state.
On Tuesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency and urged evacuations of Midland County, which is northwest of Detroit. She noted the breach threatened to put Midland’s downtown area under nine feet of water.
Whitmer also emphasized the importance of maintaining COVID-19 precautions during the crisis.
“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. “Please try to protect yourself if you are able and please make your best efforts to observe social distancing, and I know if you’re at a shelter, it’s going to be very hard.”
Dramatic video from the air shows the Edenville, Michigan dam breach. You can see the water pouring out of Wixom Lake. Video by Ryan Kaleto. pic.twitter.com/1Gd58W028E
— Mid-Michigan NOW (@midmichigannow) May 20, 2020
County officials said roughly 10,000 people have been affected so far with no injuries or fatalities reported. The state’s National Guard has been activated and is deploying high-water vehicles to the flood sites.