Michigan governor declares emergency after dams collapse

Environment

Aerial view of water from a broken Edenville Dam seen flooding the area as it flows towards Wixom Lake in Michigan, U.S. in this still frame obtained from social media video dated May 19, 2020. RYAN KALETO/via REUTERS

(Reuters) – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday declared an emergency for Midland county after two dams breached and on expectations of extreme flooding.

The county said two dams, Edenville and Sanford, have collapsed due to heavy rain in the past few days and residents nearby have been told to evacuate immediately.

“In the next 12 to 15 hours, downtown Midland could be under approximately nine feet of water”, the governor said in a news conference.

About 3,500 homes and 10,000 people have so far been affected by the evacuation notices, CNN reported cnn.it/3bONkVu, quoting Mark Bone, Chairman of the Midland County Board of Commissioners.

No injuries or deaths have been reported so far, CNN said, citing the chairman.

Residents were also advised to seek higher ground as far as possible from the Tittabawassee river.

Two rivers in Michigan, the Tittabawassee River in Midland and the Rifle River near Sterling, were in major flooding stage, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

The NWS also said it issued a flash flood emergency in locations downstream of the failed dams.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler and Kim Coghill

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