Experts, Whitmer said, are describing the flood as "a 500-year event" that will have a major impact on the state, and she promised to take aggressive action in seeking help from the federal agencies, particularly the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Whitmer added that she hopes that as a result of the dire situation, the state and federal government will be able to work quickly and cut through any red tape holding it up.
"I feel like I've said this a lot over the last 10 weeks, but this is an event unlike anything we've seen before and we've got to continue to work together to observe best practices and do our part to help one another."
She urged wearing masks and continuing to social distance.
Still, while the mood was serious, there were a few moments of levity, with Whitmer pausing to light-heartedly scolding the crowd: "A lot of you are standing too close to one another."
"We're going to get through this," Whitmer said. "It's a tough time, sure, but we are going to get through this. We know that tough times don't last. But tough people do."
Last night, about 100 people slept on cots and air mattresses spread across the basketball floor at Midland High School, beds were kept 6 feet apart because of social distancing.
Dave Percha, who was evacuated from his Midland, said he coronavirus left him unemployed for two months because of the coronavirus, and now he is homeless.
"I'm just waiting for the meteor," he added Wednesday morning.
In addition, to pandemic fears, there are now environmental contamination concerns.