Midland waters receding but still very high

Kayaking During The Flood by Charles Bonham

Kayaking During The Flood by Charles Bonham

mLive has some positive news in the catastrophic Midland flood of 2020, reporting that Midland officials say the river will crest 3 feet lower than expected:

Officials stressed that although the water is receding, it will take several days and residents should remain vigilant. It’s possible “we won’t even hit the 24-foot flood stage until the end of the weekend or later during Memorial Day,” Bone said.

“It’s essentially a mess out there and it isn’t safe to drive around barriers or travel on the roads that are deemed closed,” he added. “Everybody please stay safe and do your best out there and we’ll get through this.”

Kaye said things have changed quickly since officials last addressed reporters Wednesday afternoon, when they were predicting the river to crest at 38 feet at about 8 p.m. Soon after, an updated forecast moved the flood peak back by about three feet and about four to five hours.

“At this point in time, by all models, by all indications, at least, we’re cautiously optimistic that we’ve crested…we’ve kind of plateaued right now, but we will start the descent as water starts to recede,” Kaye said. “That’s great news for the county, for the city, certainly for the residents and business owners that are in the affected areas.”

More from mLive & also check out their comprehensive timeline of the flooding. Check yesterday’s Michigan in Pictures post on Facebook for more photos of the devastation in the comments. Stay safe, Midlanders & everyone!

Thanks to Charles for this shot & see more photos including this view down Ashman Street on his Flickr!

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Midland Under Water: Record Flooding in May 2020

2020 Flooding in Midland MIchigan by City of Midland

2020 Flooding in Midland by City of Midland

“While the 1986 flood was a 100-year flood, what we’re looking at here is an event that is the equivalent of a 500-year flood. It’s something that is extremely rare, extremely catastrophic and quite dangerous.”
– Midland City Manager Brad Kaye

The Detroit Free Press reports that by the time you’re reading this, downtown Midland could be under 9 feet of water as the result of two dam breaches on the Tittabawasee River:

Urging residents to evacuate and saying downtown Midland could be under 9 feet of water by Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer late Tuesday declared a state of emergency for Midland County after the Edenville and Sanford dams breached.

Speaking during a press conference late Tuesday, Whitmer said parts of the city of Midland, the village of Sanford, Edenville Township and Dow Chemical had been or were being evacuated. She said officials were working to evacuate residents in Tittabawassee, Thomas and Saginaw townships on Tuesday evening.

…Whitmer said at a 10 p.m. briefing Tuesday that state officials expected the worst over the next 12-15 hours with as much as 9 feet of water in downtown Midland, the largest city in the area with about 40,000 residents and the home to Dow Chemical.

“This is unlike anything we’ve seen before… but this is truly a historic event that’s playing out in the midst of another historic event,” Whitmer said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic which has led to stay-at-home orders throughout the state and the deaths of more than 5,000 people.

Several dams upstream of Midland along the Tittabawassee had either been breached or were releasing water uncontrollably after 4 to 7 inches of rain fell Sunday and Monday, including the Edenville and Sanford dams on Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people in mid-Michigan.

Read on for much more in the Freep & you can also tune in for a live Facebook update from the city later today. Here’s some photos & a drone video of the flooding via mLive:

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The Wreck of the Westmorland

The Wreck of the Westmoreland by Chris Roxburgh

The Wreck of the Westmorland by Chris Roxburgh

Chris Roxburgh is a diver and photographer who is one of my favorite follows on Facebook. About this photo he writes:

The Westmorland shipwreck located in a 200’ deep unpublished location in Lake Michigan. After many wreck hunters tirelessly searched for this vessel rumored to have whiskey Barrels and gold that was being delivered to the garrison army on Fort Mackinac. She sank on December 7th 1864. When she was finally found in 2010 by Ross Richardson the mystery was unlocked to her final resting place.

The Westmorland was one of the first 200 foot long steam powered ships in the Great Lakes and at first was called a “propeller” since they used a prop instead of sails. She hauled many tons of grain and meat across the Great Lakes. With a crew of 34 she steamed into rough seas with over 20’ waves and a violent snow storm all while leaking from the night before. As the crew made a bucket brigade trying to keep the engines out of the water they could not keep up with the ever increasing flow. Once the water stopped the engines she could not keep straight into the waves. The lifeboat Davits you can see in this picture where used to lower the boats Into the water as she sank. Out of the 34 crew fifteen went down with the ship and two succumbed to weather on the shore of Platte Bay as the others walked 40 miles to a nearby town.

I was very excited to dive her because only a handful of trusted divers have been given the opportunity to visit this site. Dusty Klifman and I decided to plan this deep dive last week as the opportunity with perfect weather on Lake Michigan arrived.

Follow Chris through his Facebook page and definitely check out this video from Blueyes Below of him diving the wreck & also click through for more videos!

See lots more Michigan shipwrecks on Michigan in Pictures and support me on Patreon if you can.


#TBT Green Hornet

Green Hornet by Steve

Green Hornet by Steve

Oh yeah. Here’s a throwback Thursday from way back in 2006!

See more in Steve’s Film Scans album.

May the 4th be with Michigan!

"Midnight Light" Frankfort, Michigan by John McCormick

“Midnight Light” Frankfort, Michigan by John McCormick

May 4th is known as Star Wars Day – May the Fourth be with you – an annual celebration of one of our shared modern stories. If you’re up before dawn tomorrow, you can step out to see if you can see Eta Aquariid  meteors in the east. Earthsky notes that the forecast calls for the greatest number of Eta Aquariid meteors to fall before dawn on (or near) May 5. However, this shower has a rather broad maximum, so just as many meteors may be flying on the mornings after.

John took this photo of the Frankfort Light back in September of 2017. See it and more in his Starry Night gallery and be sure to follow Michigan Nut Photography on Facebook!

Here’s a supercut trailer to get you in the mood!

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Lights in the Darkness

Detroit lit up in red white and blue to honor medical professionals, first responders, service workers

Detroit lit up in red white and blue by kare hav

Here’s an absolutely stunning photo from yesterday that’s the latest cover for the Michigan in Pictures Facebook page. It shows the city of Detroit from across the Detroit River as it lights up the night in red white and blue to honor medical professionals, first responders & service workers.

They definitely need all our support. The Detroit Metro Times reports that the Covid-19 pandemic is hitting Detroit harder than New York City:

In just the past three days, Detroit’s death toll nearly doubled, reaching 221 on Tuesday. During that period, the city averaged more than 3o deaths a day. And public health officials warn that the worst is yet to come.

Detroit has a rate of 32.9 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 21.2 deaths per 100,000 people in New York City. More than 5,500 Detroit residents have tested positive for COVID-19 — a nearly five-fold increase since March 27. With a severe shortage of testing kits, public health officials believe far many more Detroiters have been infected.

Mayor Mike Duggan has made it a priority to increase the city’s testing capacity. Frustrated by the slow pace of testing, Duggan led the creation of a regional site at the former Michigan State Fairgrounds at Eight Mile and Woodward, where he expects at least 14,000 people will be tested for COVID-19 over the next six weeks. During the first two days, 43% of the people who were tested were positive for the coronavirus. The city is also working with doctors who are willing to see patients who don’t have insurance.

“We’re going to make testing available to every single person in this city who needs [it],” Duggan said Thursday. “It is critical that every single Detroiter have access to this.”

Duggan said the city is now testing 800 people a day.

More than 150 Detroit Police Department employees, including Chief James Craig, have tested positive for COVID-19, and an additional 524 officers and police civilians were under quarantine, as of last week. At least 43 firefighters and medics also have confirmed infections, and more than 75 have been under quarantine.

Read the rest at the Metro Times & see more of Michigan’s largest city in Kare’s Detroit photo album.

Please feel welcome to share photos or info about ways your community is coming together to support medical & essential people in this dark time & please stay safe!!

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At All Costs

At All Costs (Sugar Loaf, 2016) by Andrew McFarlane

Most of the photos on Michigan in Pictures are someone else’s, but every once in a while, I’ll sprinkle in one of mine. I took this several years ago at Sugar Loaf Mountain Resort on the Leelanau Peninsula. The guy’s wife told me that he works on the really tall power lines and (clearly) has absolutely zero fear of heights.

I should probably add that if you want to support Michigan in Pictures, you can share it with your friends and also consider a small donation on my Patreon.

I often get pushback when I post things of people doing things that are dangerous, so let me stress:

  1. Do not try this.
  2. You probably aren’t up to it.
  3. Sugar Loaf is now closed to access (when I went, it was still owned by the people who owed me $8k).
  4. Gravity can kill you!

Have a great weekend & stay safe!

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