LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) -
FEMA approved Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s request for a federal emergency declaration, providing additional resources for Midland County. The declaration is in response to the extreme flooding, according to a press release sent out Thursday evening.
This initial approval is limited to certain direct assistance from Federal agencies dealing with immediate challenges, but it could be expanded as the state and FEMA complete the damage assessment.
“The federal emergency declaration is a good start because it will help us take protective measures to protect lives and property from further damage,” Governor Whitmer said. “These devastating flood have forced thousands of people from their homes and caused a tremendous amount of damage to our infrastructure. I’m hopeful that the federal government will soon approve the full funding request to hep Michigan families rebuild after this natural disaster.”
The funding comes after a storm system that started on Saturday, May 16 moved through the State of Michigan, resulting in six to eight inches of rain over a 48-hour period. In response to the rainfall and localized flooding, Gladwin and Midland counties declared a local state of emergency, followed by Saginaw and Arenac counties on Tuesday.
Due to the heavy rainfall, the Edenville Dam and subsequently the Sanford Dam were breached on Tuesday,causing over 10,000 Midland County residents to evacuate their homes due to imminent danger from this 500-year flood event.