A break in two dams threatens the city of Midland and the Dow Chemical company’s chemical plant.
Increasing flooding, triggered by two accidents at the dam, partially flooded the city of Midland, located in the center of the state of Michigan, on Wednesday that led to the evacuation of thousands of residents of nearby settlements. Flooding also threatens the chemical plant of the Dow Chemical company. On Wednesday morning, the water reached the plant, the company said in a statement. None of the employees of Dow Chemical were injured.
The national weather service warned of “life-threatening” flooding after the water level in the Tittabawassee River in Midland, about 193 km Northwest of Detroit, rose to a historical record level.
“We’ve never seen a dam break in our lives,” says mark bone, Chairman of the Midland County commissioners Commission. – There was a significant flood in 1986, but it never happened.”
Although some areas of the Midland, which is home to about 42 thousand people, were underwater (which rose above the norm by 1.5 m), according to the bone, no one was injured or killed.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has called on the Federal government to help the state, which is already at the center of one of the most severe COVID-19 outbreaks.
According to Whitmer, in Midland County, about 10,000 people were evacuated after several days of torrential rains, which led to the river overflowing and breaking dams in Edenville and Sanford.
According to Whitmer, experts believe that such floods occur once in 500 years. The Governor urged residents of low-lying areas to evacuate to higher ground.
An official from the Federal energy regulatory Commission said engineers would be sent to both dams to help state authorities investigate the cause of the breakouts.
Dow Chemical, which has its headquarters in Midland, said it was implementing a flood preparedness plan. All operating divisions, except equipment needed to prevent environmental contamination with chemicals, were closed, the company said in a statement. Employees of the company are at the scene of the incident, who are engaged in monitoring and managing the situation.
President Donald Trump, who is scheduled to visit a Ford Motor company car plant in Michigan on Thursday, tweeted that Federal emergency management Agency employees and military personnel were sent to the flood-affected area.