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Michigan flood displaces thousands

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 5/21/20, 11:00 am

Floodwaters mixed with water from containment ponds at a Dow Chemical plant in Midland, Mich., after two dams failed along the Tittabawassee River on Wednesday. The company said the ponds just held water and posed no threat. The Environmental Protection Agency said state officials would evaluate the plant when possible. Officials did not report any injuries or deaths in the flood, but they asked about 10,000 evacuees not to return to the area yet. The National Weather Service said flooding could affect communities farther downstream from Midland in the coming days.

Why did the dams fail? Federal investigators revoked the Edenville dam’s license over safety violations two years ago. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the dam could not handle “the probable maximum flood” as guidelines require. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state was “reviewing every possible legal recourse.”

Dig deeper: Read my previous report about the floods in The Sift.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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