Midland, Michigan, home of Northwood University, struck by catastrophic flooding

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an emergency declaration for Midland, Michigan, home of Northwood University, and the surrounding areas after at least three dams failed, washing away bridges and roads. Residents were alerted to get to higher ground immediately.

Visitors to the Northwood University are greeted by a pop that states: “

“Complete evacuation of Midland Campus: Due to the ongoing flood warning, an evacuation of the Midland campus is necessary. All members of the Northwood Community, please check your Northwood emails for further details and updates.”

Efforts are under way to evacuate portions of Midland and get residents to emergency shelters. About 10,000 residents have been evacuated. 

The dam failures and flooding are occurring after several days of heavy rains.

Northwood University is closed and entry into the area is prohibited, according to an update on Twitter. The Edenville dam, which is located about 18 miles north of Midland, failed Tuesday night, sending water toward the city of 40,000 people. Because of the locations of the Edenville dam and the Sanford dam, both located north of the city, the failures funneled water directly toward Midland. The Smallwood Lake dam also is believed to have failed. The Dow chemical plant was being evacuated Tuesday night. Officials said downtown Midland may be under 9 feet of water by Wednesday afternoon.

Whitmer activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center. Several social media and news reports said the M-30 bridge over Wixom Lake collapsed after a deluge of rain, building up after several days of rain, broke through the dams, inundating the area.

The most recent emergency alert from the city of Midland said, “It is recommended that all City of Midland residents south of US-10 and west of Eastman Avenue should prepare for evacuation. If you have nowhere to go, please go to Midland High School, 1301 Eastlawn Drive in Midland.”

As of Wednesday morning, water levels continued to rise. River gauges put the Tittabawassee River at Midland at 10 feet above flood stage, rising to 34.64 feet. 

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