Photos and videos show the destruction after 2 dams collapsed in Michigan, threatening a town with 9 feet of flooding

kmclaughlin@businessinsider.com (Kelly McLaughlin)
An aerial view of flooding as water overruns Sanford Dam, Michigan, in this May 19, 2020, still frame obtained from social-media video.

TC VORTEX via REUTERS

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.

Floodwaters overflow at Sanford Dam, Michigan, in this May 19, 2020, picture obtained from social media.

TC VORTEX via REUTERS

No injuries or deaths have been reported so far, and many residents are taking shelter in high schools and a Midland family center 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 are seen along a street in downtown Sanford, Michigan, U.S. in this May 19, 2020 picture obtained from social media.

TC VORTEX via REUTERS

Floodwaters are seen along a street in downtown Sanford, Michigan, in this May 19, 2020, picture obtained from social media.

TC VORTEX via REUTERS

Floodwaters knocked over power lines and overtook downtown streets

Damaged utility poles are seen during flooding in downtown Sanford, Michigan, in this May 19, 2020, picture obtained from social media.

TC VORTEX via REUTERS

Floodwaters are seen along a street in downtown Sanford, Michigan, in this May 19, 2020, picture obtained from social media.

TC VORTEX via REUTERS

Midland pilot Ryan Kaleto was flying over the Edenville Dam when it burst on Tuesday

Aerial view of water from a broken Edenville Dam seen flooding the area as it flows toward Wixom Lake, in Michigan, in this still frame obtained from social-media video dated May 19, 2020.

Reuters

He shared video of the dam breaking with MLive, which shows waters pouring into Sanford Lake

An aerial video of Midland shows swamped roads

Others shared videos of what the flooding looked like from the ground

"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."

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