Michigan National Guard remains busy assisting with Midland-area floods

Private First Class Lydia Humphrey of the Michigan Army National Guard 1073rd Maintenance Company assists Anita Wheeler from Midland as the Guard responds to flooding caused by local dam breaches on Wednesday. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. David Eichaker)
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MIDLAND COUNTY (WJRT) (5/22/2020) - Michigan National Guard members have been busy around Midland this week assisting with flood rescue and relief efforts.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called up National Guard units from Bay City, Saginaw, Port Huron and other Mid-Michigan communities Tuesday evening to help with with evacuations as the Tittabawassee River levels rose.

Another unit -- the 51st Civil Support Team from Fort Custer near Battle Creek -- was dispatched to assist Dow with securing critical infrastructure and hazardous materials at its sites around Midland.

The Edenville Dam breached around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday and the Sanford Dam downstream quickly became overwhelmed by rapidly rising river levels, sending massive floods toward the Midland area.

National Guard members helped evacuate 21 residents, six dogs and two cats in danger of flooding on Wednesday. They used several light medium tactical vehicles that are capable to driving through floodwaters.

National Guard members helped with door-to-door wellness checks of residents affected by flooding around Midland on Thursday. They made sure residents were accounted for and asked whether they needed medical help.

National Guardsmen also helped remove books and 120 years of Midland Daily News archives from Grace A. Dow Library in Midland as floodwaters threatened.

Guard members remain in the Midland area Friday to help with operations, emergency planning and logistics support.

The flood response took place while nearly 1,000 Michigan National Guard members remain committed to assisting with the state's response to coronavirus, including missions at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint.


The Michigan Army National Guard responds to flooding caused by local dam breaches in Midland on Wednesday. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. David Eichaker)
Private First Class Lydia Humphrey of the Michigan Army National Guard 1073rd Maintenance Company assists Anita Wheeler from Midland as the Guard responds to flooding caused by local dam breaches on Wednesday. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. David Eichaker)
Private First Class Lydia Humphrey of the Michigan Army National Guard 1073rd Maintenance Company assists Anita Wheeler from Midland as the Guard responds to flooding caused by local dam breaches on Wednesday. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. David Eichaker)
Private First Class Lydia Humphrey of the Michigan Army National Guard 1073rd Maintenance Company assists Anita Wheeler from Midland as the Guard responds to flooding caused by local dam breaches in Midland on Wednesday. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. David Eichaker)