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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

No casualties or serious injuries have been reported.

It's possible Midland won't reach the 24-foot flood stage until the end of the weekend or Memorial Day, officials said.

City Manager Brad Kaye said the Midland is cautiously optimistic but expects to be above average for at least four to five days.

"This came up quickly, but it's not going to go away quickly," Kaye said during a news conference late Wednesday. "Getting back to our normal levels are more like eight to 12 feet. Four to five days out, we're still going to be above normal."

This clearly isn't over, Kaye reiterated.

The next phase the city is focusing on is damage assessment, he said. Bridges and roads need to be inspected before barriers can be removed.

"Don't rush out thinking you can rush back in. The water is still there. Most homes that are flooded will be flooded for a good period of time," he said. "We can't even consider reopening most of these until we drop to 24 feet, which likely won't be until Saturday night."

 

Officials don't want to place blame saying, "this was a 500-year flood" no one could have predicted, but the city planned exercises in September for potential failures.

Whitmer has sought federal aid as the Midland area tries to rebuild from a 500-year flood that comes during a 100-year pandemic, as she phrased it.

The Michigan Department of Transportation's Bay Region, which serves Midland, says 11 state roads and bridges remain closed in the area.

(c)2020 The Detroit News

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