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NASA images show difference in rivers, dams after flooding in mid-Michigan

Midland County aerial views from NASA.
Midland County aerial views from NASA. (NASA)

DETROIT – NASA released images that show just how devastating the historic flood was in mid-Michigan this week.

The natural-color images show flooding across Midland County as observed by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. The slider below shows the Tittabawassee River on May 20, 2020 (right), compared to June 3, 2019 (left).

The after photos show the level of water that emptied from dams and rivers into neighborhoods and surrounding areas.

President Donald Trump, who was in Michigan to visit a Ford production plant, signed an emergency declaration authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts.

It could be days before the full scope of damage can be assessed, officials said. No flood-related deaths or injuries have been reported.

“The damage is truly devastating to see how high the water levels are, to see roofs barely visible in parts of Midland, and to see a lake that has been drained in another part,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who toured Midland County on Wednesday.

The flooding forced about 11,000 people to evacuate their homes in the Midland area, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Detroit, following what the National Weather Service called “catastrophic dam failures” at the Edenville Dam, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Midland, and the Sanford Dam, about 9 miles (14 kilometers) northwest of the city.

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