acquired June 3, 2019
Muddy Flooding in Michigan
- Landsat 8 - OLI
- Data Date: May 20, 2020
- Visualization Date: May 21, 2020
On May 17, 2020, heavy rain began pouring over the Tri-Cities region of central Michigan and, after two days, it provoked significant flooding in Midland County. The accumulating rainfall led to catastrophic dam failures that swelled rivers and streams and inundated several nearby communities. The governor ordered more than 10,000 residents of Edenville and Sanford to evacuate.
The natural-color images on this page show flooding across Midland County as observed by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. The pair above shows the Tittabawassee River on May 20, 2020 (right), compared to June 3, 2019 (left). The images below provide a wider view, including the location of the Edenville and Sanford dams.
acquired June 3, 2019 - May 20, 2020
The National Weather Service reported record rainfall where more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) fell across parts of Midland in 48 hours. The Edenville Dam then collapsed on the evening of May 19, sending floodwaters south across the landscape. About an hour later, water spilled over the Sanford Dam and further flooded the Tittabawassee River and the surrounding area.
On May 20, the Tittabawassee River reached a height just over 35 feet (11 meters)—about four feet higher than levels in the devastating 1986 floods. The governor has declared a state of emergency.
References and Further Reading
- Michigan Live (2020, May 20) Flooding in Michigan: Everything we know about Midland County dam break. Accessed May 20, 2020.
- Michigan Live (2020, May 20) Record flooding that broke dam in Midland County will surpass 1986 level. Accessed May 21, 2020.
- NASA Earth Science Disasters Program Michigan Floods and Dam Failures May 2020. Accessed May 21, 2020.
- National Weather Service (2020, May 17) Historic Flooding May 2020. Accessed May 21, 2020.
- National Weather Service (2020, May 21) Tittabawassee River at Midland. Accessed May 21, 2020.
- WSBT22 (2020, May 19) Governor Whitmer declares State of Emergency for Midland County. Accessed May 21, 2020.