Potential flooding prompts Midland County preparation, shelters to open
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Maps predict where flooding in Midland will occur
MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -
Midland County activated its emergency management command center to prepare for the potential floods in Midland and surrounding areas. The Red Cross also opened two shelters in the county for potential victims.
On Thursday, hundreds of people flocked to downtown Midland to check out the rising Tittabawassee River. The highest and most impressive water flow can be found at the "Tridge."
"I was here in 1986, it was much higher then," said Midland resident Karen Datstick. "It's interesting to watch, but I always feel for the people who live close by, for having water in their basements, I feel lucky, I haven't had any water in my basement."
Midland County officials are also keeping a close eye on the levels from their emergency command center.
"We're here monitoring the situation, making sure it's behaving the way it's expected to," said Kevin Beeson, the deputy emergency manager coordinator.
Beeson says technology gives officials an upper hand before Mother Nature acts. They have maps that predict flood areas. Firefighters and police have gone door-to-door in some of the likely areas to flood, warning residents of the dangers.
"It takes awhile for the rain, we're draining a large basin, northern and central Michigan, it takes a 12-hour period or so for it to arrive in Midland," said Beeson.
In the wake of this flooding, the Red Cross also opened up shelters for people who are affected by floodwaters or power outages in Midland County. Midland High School, 1301 Eastlawn Ave., and Lincoln Township Hall, 1882 N. Hope Rd., are open as shelters. Patrons must bring their own bedding and pets will not be allowed. If you need more information, you can call 2-1-1 for up-to-date information on the shelters.
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