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MI dam breaches: 10k evacuated as Smallwood fail swells Tittabawassee (with pics)

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Posted (edited)

 

 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/michigan-dam-fails-10000-evacuated-state-of-emergency-declared-2020-05-19/

Spoiler

Two breached dams caused by several days of rainfall and rising water on Tuesday forced the evacuation of about 10,000 people in mid-Michigan, where the governor said one downtown could be "under approximately 9 feet of water" by morning.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Midland County following the dam's failure.

"If you have not evacuated the area, do so now and get somewhere safe," she said Tuesday night. "This is unlike anything we've seen in Midland County."

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for locations along the Tittabawassee River after the breach at the Edenville Dam in Midland County, about 140 miles north of Detroit.

"Extremely dangerous flash flooding is ongoing along the Tittabawassee River in Midland county due to catastrophic dam failures at the Edenville and Sanford dams," the weather service said on its website, noting that anyone near the river should seek higher ground immediately, be prepared for immediate evacuations, and not drive into flooded roadways. "This flooding will continue all along the length of the river in Midland county, and possibly extending into Saginaw county where a Flash Flood Watch is also in effect."

"In the next 12 to 15 hours, downtown Midland could be under approximately 9 feet of water. We are anticipating an historic high water level," Whitmer said.

Emergency responders went door-to-door early Tuesday morning warning residents living near the Edenville Dam of the rising water. Some residents were able to return home, only to be told to leave again following the dam's breach.

The evacuations include the towns of Edenville, Sanford and parts of the city of Midland, which has 42,000 people, according to Selina Tisdale, spokeswoman for Midland County.

"People are communicating well and looking after each other and their loved ones," Tisdale said. "We're heartbroken for those with lots of home and property damage."

The evacuations in Michigan followed days of heavy rains in parts of the Midwest that also brought flooding to Chicago and other parts of Illinois, Ohio and other states.

"We were back at home and starting to feel comfortable that things were calming down," said Catherine Sias, who lives about one mile from the Edenville Dam and left home early Tuesday morning. "All of a sudden we heard the fire truck sirens going north toward the dam."

Sias, 45, said emergency alerts then began coming on her cell phone and people started calling to make sure they were safe.

"While packing, there were tons of police and fire trucks going up and down the roads," she added. "As far as I know, all of our neighbors got out."

M-30, the state highway trunkline that's also the main road through Edenville and the route Sias was using to evacuate, was backed up with vehicles.

While driving, she saw the rushing Tittabawassee River. "It was very dramatic, very fast and full of debris," she said.

Edenville Dam holds back Wixom Lake. Officials also were watching the Sanford Dam south of Edenville. The city of Midland, which includes the main plant of Dow Chemical, sits on the banks of the Tittabawassee River about 8 miles away from that dam.

Dow Chemical Co. has activated its emergency operations center and will be adjusting operations as a result of current flood stage conditions, spokeswoman Rachelle Schikorra said in an email.

"Dow Michigan Operations is working with its tenants and Midland County officials and will continue to closely monitor the water levels on the Tittabawassee River," Schikorra said.

Earlier, Midland County 911 sent out a series of alerts saying the Edenville and Sanford dams were at risk of failing.

Midland County Emergency Management later said that the dams were "structurally sound." It said water flowing through the dam spillgates couldn't be controlled, however, so evacuation measures remained in place.

In 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission revoked the license of the company that operated the Edenville Dam due to non-compliance issues that included spillway capacity and the inability to pass the most severe flood reasonably possible in the area.

The Edenville Dam, which was built in 1924, was rated in unsatisfactory condition in 2018 by the state. The Sanford Dam, which was built in 1925, received a fair condition rating.

Both dams are in the process of being sold.

There were 19 high hazard dams in unsatisfactory or poor condition in Michigan in 2018, ranking 20th among the 45 states and Puerto Rico for which The Associated Press obtained condition assessments.

Two area schools had been opened Tuesday morning after the initial evacuation, but people who had been at one of the schools left by early afternoon.

Red Cross worker Tom Restgate. who had been helping residents of the area seek shelter from the threat of rising waters was still at one of the schools when he received an alert over his cellphone that "the dam ... it breached."

Heavy rains also caused flooding in parts of northwestern Indiana, including Crown Point — the Lake County seat — where about seven inches fell over the weekend.

Floodwaters swelled quickly on Sunday when one inch of rain fell within 15 minutes, swamping streets and sending water into basements and homes, including Mayor David Uran's residence.

Those waters receded Monday, but Uran and many other residents were continuing to clean up the watery mess on Tuesday, said Uran's chief of staff, Greg Falkowski.

"He got between 2 and 3 feet in his basement, so that's what he's working on right now," Falkowski said Tuesday afternoon.

In Chicago, water that flooded some areas downtown was receding on Tuesday, but Larry Langford, a fire department spokesman, said that he did not expect power to be restored at the iconic Willis Tower for days because the rains caused the building's subbasements to fill with as much as 25 feet of water. The building was closed to tenants and visitors.

Flood warnings in Michigan were issued following widespread rainfall of up to 4 inches since Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Heavy runoff pushed rivers higher.

"A lot of the rainfall came and hit the Saginaw Valley over the last 48 hours," meteorologist Andrew Arnold said Tuesday morning. "For the most part, the rain is over."

The weather system was moving into Indiana, Ohio, parts of Illinois and the Tennessee Valley, Arnold said.

More flooding was forecast for parts of the Tittabawassee River, which was at 26.5 feet Tuesday morning. It was expected to crest Wednesday morning at about 30 feet. Flood stage is 24 feet.

Just to the north in Gladwin County, the weather service issued a flash flood warning for the Cedar River below the Chappel Dam. Other parts of the state saw isolated flooding following heavy rains in recent days.

 

Edited by clapclapclap
Pics/vids, whatever it takes. This thread is not worthless.

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Quote

 

In 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission revoked the license of the company that operated the Edenville Dam due to non-compliance issues that included spillway capacity and the inability to pass the most severe flood reasonably possible in the area.

The Edenville Dam, which was built in 1924, was rated in unsatisfactory condition in 2018 by the state. The Sanford Dam, which was built in 1925, received a fair condition rating.

Both dams are in the process of being sold.

 

I imagine that's going to be a hard sale to close.

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4 hours ago, RPM said:

I imagine that's going to be a hard sale to close.

Bitchy realtor woman gonna be pissed. She's got a commission at stake, you know?

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, RPM said:

I imagine that's going to be a hard sale to close.

As a hydroelectric dam, it will sell pretty easily at the right price.  Someone will invest in it. 

Edited by EuroHorn

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, EuroHorn said:

As a fixer upper hydroelectric dam

corrected

Edited by RPM

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I love the little mini-dozer pushing a few dozen rocks up against the damhouse. Yup that'll do it. 

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41 minutes ago, NorthLoop said:

I love the little mini-dozer pushing a few dozen rocks up against the damhouse. Yup that'll do it. 

I noticed that too. Crisis averted!!

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46 minutes ago, NorthLoop said:

I love the little mini-dozer pushing a few dozen rocks up against the damhouse. Yup that'll do it. 

im-helping-35445714.png

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50 minutes ago, NorthLoop said:

I love the little mini-dozer pushing a few dozen rocks up against the damhouse. Yup that'll do it. 

"We could have put a lot more fingers in the dykes if not for the stay at home orders!" - Protest McProtester

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43 minutes ago, clapclapclap said:

"We could have put a lot more fingers in the dykes if not for the stay at home orders!" - Protest McProtester

spacer.png

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1 hour ago, clapclapclap said:

"We could have put a lot more fingers in the dykes if not for the stay at home orders!" - Protest McProtester

What's your problem with fingering dikes? 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, clapclapclap said:

"We could have put a lot more fingers in the dykes if not for the stay at home orders!" - Protest McProtester

Dam should have just worn a mask...

Edited by Iceman

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24 minutes ago, Prepuce of Doom said:

That river and most of its banks are already highly contaminated with dioxin, which is some pretty bad shit. 

http://www.trwnews.net/whereiscontamination.htm

Michigan is just one giant Superfund site at this point. 

meh - Midland (home of Dow Chemical) is like a love child of the Golden Triangle and the ship channel, but without the humidity

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Posted (edited)

Most of the US infrastructure is in a serious state of disrepair. If the next President and Congress were smart, to help us kick start the economy after this Covid shit, they should start another New Deal program to fix all of the rotting infrastructure. There's a shitton of work to go around in every state. 

Edited by crash_davis

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One of Mrs. CHIEF's best friends had family on the roof, the water is up to their eaves. She is about freaked out. I imagine they have been rescued by now. The problem they are about to face, is that a bunch of the flooded houses aren't even considered in the flood plain.

CHIEF

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4 minutes ago, CHIEF said:

One of Mrs. CHIEF's best friends had family on the roof, the water is up to their eaves. She is about freaked out. I imagine they have been rescued by now. The problem they are about to face, is that a bunch of the flooded houses aren't even considered in the flood plain.

CHIEF

Doubtful most will have flood insurance. Will be a huge kick in the balls for those people.

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I wonder if the home owners will have standing to bring a suit against the state for allowing the infrastructure to fall into such a bad state of disrepair and failure

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1 hour ago, crash_davis said:

Doubtful most will have flood insurance. Will be a huge kick in the balls for those people.

With all the "Brrrrrr'ing" our Federal Government is doing, I'm sure they'll get a bailout of some kind.

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10 minutes ago, Parliament said:

With all the "Brrrrrr'ing" our Federal Government is doing, I'm sure they'll get a bailout of some kind.

This is Michigan, the very state Trump is threatening to withhold federal monies because they dare to try to facilitate democracy. Not trying to get political, just staying a fact.

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18 minutes ago, crash_davis said:

This is Michigan, the very state Trump is threatening to withhold federal monies because they dare to try to facilitate democracy. Not trying to get political, just staying a fact.

a mildly political post - read at your own risk

Spoiler

and a state that he barely carried in 2016 (I know, I know) - seems like he can't decide to court our votes or scourge us for our Governor 

 

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2 hours ago, Incredulity said:

Anyway this can take out Ann Arbor and just be done with it?

Fixed it.

Don't give a dam for the whole state of Michigan, etc. etc.

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16 hours into this thread and no "swelling", "small wood", "tit", or "ass" comments?

I haz a disappoint.

 

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3 hours ago, crash_davis said:

Doubtful most will have flood insurance. Will be a huge kick in the balls for those people.

Yep.  Even people who are in a floodplain (but not the 100 yr) often skip over flood insurance, when it's really cheap.  It's a damned shame.

2 hours ago, Captainant said:

I wonder if the home owners will have standing to bring a suit against the state for allowing the infrastructure to fall into such a bad state of disrepair and failure

All depends on how sovereign immunity works under Michigan law.  If they have immunity like Texas does, they are immune from negligence claims.  They'd have to plead a case of an intentional action by the government that caused the flooding, that the gov't knew would cause the flooding, so that it constitutes a taking under the Constitution.  And I doubt the facts would apply here - the gov't would have had to intentionally blown up the dam or something, not just neglected it.

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This is somewhat like the Jamestown flood - the people who lived on Wixom Lake, where the Edenville Dam was located, were pissed a year or two ago because the lake had started to recede to relieve pressure on the dam and the owner was not going to do any repairs. So the people with houses (and boats/docks) on the lake raised funds to have repairs done to allow them to get their lakefront property back from being swampy and stumpy. 
Not sure who (or if) got approval for the repairs, but I'm thinking there could be a lot of parties who get sued about this one.

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Yeah, the last 4 or 5 minutes of the video I posted above are drone footage of the busted dams and empty lakebed.

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On 5/20/2020 at 7:58 AM, clapclapclap said:

"We could have put a lot more fingers in the dykes if not for the stay at home orders!" - Protest McProtester

Go on...

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On 5/20/2020 at 5:07 PM, Brisketexan said:

Yep.  Even people who are in a floodplain (but not the 100 yr) often skip over flood insurance, when it's really cheap. 

That's because I have scuba gear and a map to the Gulf of Mexico.

Duh!!!

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