Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer adds 3 counties to flood-related state of emergency

Arenac, Gladwin, Saginaw counties added to state of emergency

Water tore through this bridge in Midland County on May 20, 2020. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has added three counties to her state of emergency issued as a result of two dam failures that caused devastating floods in the middle of the state.

Arenac, Gladwin and Saginaw counties have been added to the state of emergency that was issued for Midland County. Heavy rains caused widespread flooding and resulted in the failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams.

“Thousands of residents in these communities have been impacted by the widespread damage this flooding has caused,” Whitmer said. “I have declared an emergency to provide much needed assistance and have added Arenac, Gladwin and Saginaw counties to the declaration to ensure access to critical resources. I want to thank emergency responders in the region for helping to evacuate residents. Let’s all stay safe, and take care of each other.”

A clear look at a road torn apart by water in Midland County on May 20, 2020. (WDIV)

Officials evacuated 750 Saginaw County residents, 500 Arenac County residents and more than 100 Gladwin County residents due to rising waters.

By adding them to the state of emergency, Whitmer allows these three counties to receive law enforcement and shelter support, road repair help, search and rescue services and more.

“I appreciate Gov. Whitmer for making these declarations in communities that have seen widespread damage during this time,” Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland) said. “I look forward to partnering with her as we continue to protect families in impacted areas from the effects of this crisis. We are all Michiganders first, and we must continue working to protect each other when faced with a crisis like this.”

A building almost completely underwater in Midland County on May 20, 2020. (WDIV)

“This news today is exactly what we needed,” Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) said. “I am thankful the governor approved our request. There are still people in desperate need across Gladwin and Arenac counties, but this declaration will provide the much needed support and additional boots on the ground from the state.”

First responders successfully evacuated 10,000 residents from the area with no casualties, officials said.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.