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Updated on: Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 11:03 PM IST

Thousands evacuated as river dams break in central Michigan

Governor warns a downtown could be under approximately 9 feet of water
The driver of red pickup truck was rescued in Saginaw County, Michigan. | PIC: Associated Press (AP)

The driver of red pickup truck was rescued in Saginaw County, Michigan. | PIC: Associated Press (AP)

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Rapidly rising water overtook dams and forced the evacuation of about 10,000 people in central Michigan, where flooding struck communities along rain-swollen waterways and the governor said one downtown could be "under approximately 9 feet of water" by Wednesday.

For the second time in less than 24 hours, families living along the Tittabawassee River and connected lakes in Midland County were ordered Tuesday evening to leave home. By Wednesday morning, water that was several feet high covered some streets near the river in downtown Midland, including riverside parkland, and reaching a hotel and parking lots.

The National Weather Service urged anyone near the river to seek higher ground following "castastrophic dam failures" at the Edenville Dam, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Detroit, and the Sanford Dam, about seven miles (11 kilometers) downriver. Michigan Governor Gretchen said downtown Midland, a city of 42,000 about 8 miles (14 kilometers) downstream from the Sanford Dam, faced an especially serious flooding threat. Dow Chemical Co.'s main plant sits on the city's riverbank.

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Published on: Thursday, May 21, 2020, 07:00 AM IST
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