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Midland County, Mich., Implements Flood Plan After Dam Failure

The plan includes the “safe shutdown of operating units on site” and evacuation of all but essential staff, according to Dow chemical company officials, who announced the move at 12:23 a.m. Wednesday, May 20.

by Heather Jordan, MLive.com, Walker, Mich. / May 20, 2020
A view of the flooded area near the Sanford Dam on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Residents were told to evacuate due to the dams on Sanford and Wixom lakes no longer being able to control or contain the amount of water flowing through the spill gates. TNS

(TNS) — As Midland County grapples with flooding that collapsed one dam and overtopped another, plus evacuations of people and businesses, Dow officials have implemented the chemical company’s flood preparedness plan.

The plan includes the “safe shutdown of operating units on site” and evacuation of all but essential staff, according to company officials, who announced the move at 12:23 a.m. Wednesday, May 20, via the Dow in the GLBR [Great Lakes Bay Region] Facebook Page.

Also on Wednesday morning, Midland County Central Dispatch reported a dike at Poseyville had broken and residents on Ashby between Poseyville and Patterson roads must evacuate west. Officials reported the update in a NIXLE text alert at 6:36 a.m.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an emergency declaration late Tuesday and sent the National Guard to help after the Edenville Dam collapsed and water flooded over the top of the Sanford Dam following heavy rains. She also urged residents in evacuation zones to get out immediately.

A flash flood warning in Midland County prompted MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland to implement its incident command team late Tuesday night to make plans to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

“We have been working alongside local agencies, watching closely the rapid changes that have been occurring due to the flooding,” MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland President Greg Rogers said in a statement. “We have transferred a few patients that were identified by their physician and have no plans for evacuation of the Medical Center.”

MidMichigan Health President and CEO Diane Postler-Slattery added in a statement, “Our leadership team is onsite monitoring the situation as it evolves. We will continue to follow our Flood Preparedness Plan and respond to any changes in a controlled and timely manner.”

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