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Midland's Tittabawassee River on decline but 'wet period' forecast for next week

James David Dickson and Sarah Rahal, The Detroit News on

Published in News & Features

DETROIT -- Midland's stretch of the Tittabawassee River is on the decline from its historic high point of 35.05 feet reached Wednesday afternoon, but the waterway is still well above the flood stage early Thursday at 32.7 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday she sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting a federal emergency declaration she hopes he'll sign Thursday when he visits the Rawsonville Ford plant.

Whitmer traveled to Midland on Wednesday to survey the damage and said, "it's truly remarkable how much damage we have sustained."

"This is truly a crisis in the middle of a crisis," Whitmer said Thursday morning. "If you are one of the residents in the impacted area, especially if you're in a shelter, please take precautions to protect yourself ... we don't want COVID-19 to grow especially in a region where we've had to move people around so much."

The weather Thursday and Friday is expected to be dry, but the area could be in for a "wet period" over much of the next week.

Cory Behnke, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said there is a chance of rain Saturday afternoon and during the day Sunday, but that conditions indicate a "wet period" for much of next week.


"It's too early," Behnke said, to say just how much rain might fall.

But southeast Michigan is headed for a warm pattern, with humid air. A high-pressure system from the southeast United States is headed this way, along with "persistent" southwest winds.

As for the river, it's projected to be in flood stage, or above 24 feet, through mid-day Sunday, and won't fall out of "action stage," or below 18 feet, until mid-day Tuesday, according to a National Weather Service hydrology map.

The high river overpowered two dams, Edenville and Sanford, in the area on Tuesday, displacing 11,000 people.


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