On Wednesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference in Midland, Michigan. She discussed the breach of two hydroelectric dams on the Tittabawassee river that caused serious flooding and forced the evacuation of at least 10,000 people.
In response to the situation, Michigan’s Governor sought federal emergency aid. Whitmer addressed her concerns in a letter to President Trump, she asked for this incident to be declared as an emergency in Midland County on an expedited basis.
Whitmer’s letter points to problems with the dams, and the amount of rain over 48 hours, which also contributed to the breach and floods.
According to the Federal energy regulatory commission, they repeatedly raised concerns over the dam’s ability to prevent floods during extreme conditions because of its inadequate spillway capacity. However, Boyce Hydro Powers, the company in charge of the Edenville dam continued to violate safety regulations in place.
Gov. Whitmer stated Michigan will do a thorough investigation of the dam operators. However, the dam has two reinforced concrete spillways to carry away excess water.
Previously, in 2018, an order was placed about concerns of the dam’s inability to handle maximum flood capacity.
Whitmer also stated in the letter, “Additional state assistance requested by local jurisdictions is being processed. This includes high water cargo vehicles for the transportation of heavy equipment and suppliesfor protecting disaster survivors and displaced residents in shelters from COVID-19 (suchas PPE, cleaning supplies, and hand sanitizer).”