Gov. Whitmer extends state of emergency due to flooding

Curtis Road bridge collapses due to flooding from Edenville Dam breach. (Source: WILX)
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MI (WILX) -- Governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended the State of Emergency to include Arenac, Gladwin and Saginaw counties after heavy rains caused flooding resulting in the breach of Edenville and Sanford dams, the governor's office said.

“Thousands of residents in these communities have been impacted by the widespread damage this flooding has caused,” said Governor Whitmer. “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.”

The governor's office said officials have evacuated approximately 500 residents in Arenac County, over 100 residents in Gladwin County and around 750 residents in Saginaw County.

The governor's office said additional evacuations is likely due to rising waters.

The State of Emergency will make sure resources like law enforcement support, shelter support, road repair assistance, search and rescue support and more are available to those areas impacted by the dam failures.

“My staff has been working closely with county officials in affected areas as the situation has progressed,” said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD). “We will continue to partner with the county to ensure they receive the needed resources to respond and recover from this incident.”

“I appreciate Governor Whitmer for making these declarations in communities that have seen widespread damage during this time,” said Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland). “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.”

“This news today is exactly what we needed,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Jason Wentworth (R-Clare). “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."

You can view Executive Order 2020-98 attached to this article.

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