Lansing. MI — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) directing the department to investigate what caused the Edenville Dam and Sanford Dam to fail, resulting in historic flooding in several mid-Michigan counties. Gov. Whitmer also asked EGLE to review the larger issue of dam safety in Michigan and provide recommendations on policy, legislative, budgetary, and enforcement reforms that can prevent these harms from repeating elsewhere.
“This flooding forced thousands to evacuate their homes, destroyed public infrastructure, ruined homes and businesses, and caused major natural resource damage,” said Governor Whitmer. “We must ensure accountability and prevent a disaster like this from happening again. I want to thank the first responders and volunteers who have stepped up to help in this time of unprecedented need.”
The letter to EGLE is just one of many steps Gov. Whitmer has taken to marshal the necessary resources to ensure residents and their families have access to the help they need to recover from this disaster. Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency on May 19 for Midland City and Midland County and has since expanded the declaration to include additional impacted counties of Arenac, Gladwin, Saginaw, and Iosco to ensure those areas have the resources they need. On May 20, Gov. Whitmer sent a letter to President Trump urging him to approve a federal emergency declaration for Midland County, which was approved on May 21.
“It warms my heart to see the outpouring of support and generosity for residents in mid-Michigan impacted by this historic flood while in the midst of a global health pandemic,” Governor Whitmer said. “As residents begin the painstaking task of picking up the pieces from this disaster, they deserve to know why these dams failed, uprooting their homes, businesses and lives in the process.”