- The Edenville and Sanford dams in central Michigan collapsed on Tuesday night, sending flood waters into nearby towns.
- Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency and urged people to evacuate as up to nine feet of water threatened to hit Midland.
- Residents are taking shelter at high schools and a Midland family centre as the National Weather Service holds a flash-flood warning in place.
- Photos and videos of the region show powerful waters pouring through the dams, and floods covering city streets in Sanford and Midland.
- No injuries or deaths have been reported so far, but the extent of damage from the floods remains unknown.
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Two dams collapsed in central Michigan on Tuesday, forcing thousands of people to evacuate as up to 9 feet of water threatened one town.
The Edenville Dam collapsed on Tuesday afternoon amid heavy rainfall, causing the downstream Sanford Dam on the Tittabawassee River to fail, leading to major flooding in Midland and Gladwin counties.
By Wednesday morning, streets in the towns around the Tittabawassee River were covered in feet of water, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency, and the National Weather Service had urged anyone near the Tittabawassee to seek higher ground as up to 9 feet of water headed toward Midland.
The extent of the damage from the floods remains unclear, but about 3,500 homes and 10,000 people have been affected by evacuation notices, Mark Bone, chairman of the Midland County Board of Commissioners, told CNN.
No injuries or deaths have been reported so far, and many residents are taking shelter in high schools and a Midland family centre as floodwaters pass through towns, including Midland and Sanford.
The Detroit and Pontiac branch of the National Weather Service has issued a flash-flood warning until at least 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, but photos and videos of the region show the damage that has already been done.
Photos of the floods show chaotic scenes of roaring water swallowing cars and road signs
Floodwaters knocked over power lines and overtook downtown streets
Midland pilot Ryan Kaleto was flying over the Edenville Dam when it burst on Tuesday
He shared video of the dam breaking with MLive, which shows waters pouring into Sanford Lake
An aerial video of Midland shows swamped roads
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 20, 2020
Others shared videos of what the flooding looked like from the ground
Water district #1 of Midland Co. now under boil water advisory
Video sent by: Brandon Wise pic.twitter.com/pLRMXuSn25
— Veronica Gabriel (@veronicagtv) May 20, 2020
Outside the steps entering Midland Courthouse pic.twitter.com/e6oyXiR0WZ
— Chad (@CABrownTV) May 20, 2020
A look at the flood waters in downtown Midland this morning. (????: Daniel Mears)
— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) May 20, 2020
FLOODING: Right now flood waters are rushing through Midland, MI. Thousands have been evacuated from their homes after two dams breached. One woman is missing after being swept away by flood waters #2NewsAM #LiveDesk pic.twitter.com/nUQ8kV9ohQ
— Jade Elliott (@JadeElliottTV) May 20, 2020
“You gotta uproot and go amid everything else going on this year,” Ryan Brethour, a resident, told local CBS affiliate WMEM. “This is pretty unreal.”