The governor warned that downtown Midland could end up “under approximately 9 feet of water.”
About 10,000 people in central Michigan were told to evacuate their homes after rapidly rising water overwhelmed dams, creating what the National Weather Service called a “life-threatening situation.”
“Seek higher ground now!” the weather service in Detroit warned those near the Tittabawassee River and connected lakes in Midland County on Tuesday night, saying a flash flood emergency would be in place until the morning after “catastrophic” failures of the Edenville and Sanford dams.
The Tittabawassee River is expected to crest at 38 feet in Midland on Wednesday morning, breaking the record of 33.9 feet set during a 500-year flood event in 1986.
“If you have not evacuated the area, do so now and get somewhere safe,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said, while declaring a state of emergency.