Heavy Rains - Michigan dam failures, Willis Tower blackout

Page 1 of 1 [ 1 post ] 


User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 62
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,916
Location: Long Island, New York

20 May 2020, 9:47 am

Michigan floods: Evacuations after Edenville and Sanford dams collapse

About 10,000 residents have been evacuated in the US state of Michigan after two dams collapsed following days of heavy rain, officials say.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for areas near the Tittabawassee River after the Edenville and Sanford dams burst.

Parts of Midland, a city some 140 miles (209 km) of Detroit, could be under 9ft (2.7m) of water, authorities said.

Dow chemical company, which is based in the city, has set up emergency steps.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Midland County in mid-Michigan after the dams collapsed on Tuesday, and said the city of Midland - of population of more than 40,000 - could see a "historic high water level".

"This is unlike anything we've seen in Midland County," Ms Whitmer said at a news conference. "To go through this in the midst of a global pandemic is almost unthinkable."

It was the second time in 24 hours that residents were told to evacuate because of rising waters. They have been advised to wear a face covering and observe social distancing while evacuating to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The Michigan National Guard has been assisting in the response, the governor said. The evacuation orders included parts of Midland, Edenville and Sanford.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said this was an "extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation", with the Tittabawassee River expected to crest at a record of 38ft by Wednesday morning local time.

In a statement, Dow said it had activated its flood preparedness plan which includes the safe shutdown of operating units. Only essential staff needed to monitor the situation and manage any issues remained on site, which sits on Midland's riverbank, the company added.

Built in 1924, the Edenville Dam was rated in unsatisfactory condition by the state in 2018 while the Sanford Dam, which was built in 1925, was given a fair condition rating, the Associated Press news agency reports. It said both dams were in the process of being sold.

President Donald Trump is expected to visit Michigan on Thursday, to tour a Ford plant that is manufacturing ventilators to help in the response to the coronavirus. Ms Whitmer, who has not been invited to attend the event, has criticised the Trump administration's handling of the crisis.

The visit is, technically, a violation of the restrictions imposed by the governor to curb the spread of the virus in Michigan, which has been hit hard with more than 50,000 confirmed cases and 5,000 deaths. But a spokesman said she would not try to block the visit.

Willis Tower basement floods, knocking out power to entire building; Lower Wacker Drive closed

Heavy rains caused widespread flooding across the Chicago area, including the basement of the Willis Tower and Lower Wacker Drive.

ComEd crews were downtown Monday, working underground to address power outages created by flooding over the weekend.

Efforts remain underway to restore electrical service to Willis Tower. The outage is caused by flooding from the Chicago River along Lower Wacker Drive, that knocked out a ComEd substation.

Efforts by the city have stopped the waters from rising in Lower Wacker. The city has begun a pumping process to lower the water levels so ComEd crews can get into the substation under the Willis Tower.

The high-rise was evacuated of everyone who needed to be out.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman