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Heavy rain causes flooding

Heavy rain causes flooding

By Judy Reed

Heavy rain Sunday through Tuesday morning caused flooding in several parts of Michigan this week, including here in Cedar Springs.

Cedar Creek and its tributaries overflowed in various areas, including Fifth Street and Cherry, behind the Cedar Springs Public Library, at North Park, Park and Elm Street, and the creek reached over the bottom of the bridge across Main Street.

What happened here was not nearly as bad as what happened in Midland Tuesday when two dams were breached. Over 10,000 people were evacuated Tuesday and overnight with the help of DNR Conservation officers, the Michigan State Police, the Michigan National Guard, and others.

Flooding in Midland. A DNR vessel searches for those needing help. Photo by the Michigan DNR.

According to the Michigan DNR, nearly 24 hours before the Edenville Dam in Midland County collapsed Tuesday, conservation officers from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources began evacuating people in homes and businesses positioned downriver of the dam. With historic flood levels expected, the officers remained on scene Wednesday and providing emergency response as needed.

Shortly before dark Tuesday, the dam collapsed, creating life-threatening, flash flood conditions that forced a mandatory evacuation for the city of Midland, including residents, businesses, medical facilities and Dow Chemical’s headquarters, all in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will continue working with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to assist with patrol vessels anywhere we can,” said Lt. Jeremy Payne, the DNR’s district law supervisor in Bay City.”

The initial dam breach caused the failure of a second area dam—the Sanford Dam. As a result, the Tittabawassee River is overflowing its 24-foot flood stage and was expected to crest around 38 feet Wednesday. At 7 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service said the flood stage was over 34 feet and rising.

More than 20 conservation officers from throughout the region responded with 10 DNR patrol vessels and search and rescue equipment to help continue the evacuation of flood victims.

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