LANSING, Mich. — Today, FEMA approved Governor Whitmer’s request to add Gladwin County to the federal emergency declaration, which will provide additional resources to respond to the extreme flooding. This initial approval is limited to certain direct assistance from federal agencies to deal with immediate challenges, but could be expanded as the state and FEMA completes the damage assessment.
“After these floods devastated livelihoods of families across Gladwin county, I am glad the federal government has stepped up to help those impacted,” Governor Whitmer said. “I look forward to continuing to work with FEMA and the federal government to help Michigan families rebuild after this natural disaster.”
Beginning on May 16, 2020, a storm system moved through the State of Michigan, resulting in six to eight inches of rain over a 48-hour period. In response to the rainfall and localized flooding, Gladwin and Midland counties declared local States of Emergency on May 18, 2020, followed by the counties of Saginaw and Arenac on May 19, 2020. Following the heavy rainfall, the Edenville Dam and subsequently the Sanford Dam were breached on May 19, 2020, which required over 10,000 Midland County residents to evacuate their homes due to the imminent danger from this 500-year flood event. That evening, Governor Whitmer declared a state emergency for the City of Midland and Midland County.
Governor Whitmer later added Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, and Saginaw Counties to her state declaration of emergency. Officials evacuated approximately 500 residents in Arenac County, over 100 residents in Gladwin County, and approximately 750 residents in Saginaw County, with additional evacuations likely due to rising waters. The governor’s state of emergency ensures resources like law enforcement support, shelter support, road repair assistance, search and rescue support, and more are available to the impacted areas.