Flood watch ends for Tittabawassee, stays for Saginaw River

The Detroit News

The Tittabawassee River that sparked catastrophic, widespread flooding in Midland County this week has fallen below the flood stage, the National Weather Service said Friday.

After the waterway reached 23.79 feet at about 9:30 p.m., below the flood level of 24 feet, the weather service said it has canceled a longstanding flood watch.

However, a watch remains in effect for the Saginaw River at Saginaw until further notice, the weather service said.

At 9 p.m. Friday the stage was 21.7 feet, above the flood stage of 17 feet, and falling, according to the watch. It earlier reached 22.6 feet.

Although the forecast calls for a chance of showers late Saturday and early Sunday, "this amount would have little to no affect" on the river, which could slowly fall below flood stage by Tuesday, the weather service said.

Both rivers flooded after a stalled low pressure system dumped record rainfall across southeast Michigan between Sunday and Tuesday.

The Tittabawassee crested at a record 35.05 feet on Wednesday, sending water surging in Midland after the Edenville Dam failed.

The Upper Bridge pedestrian bridge is flooded along the Tittabawassee River in downtown Midland, Wednesday.

The high levels, which some officials described as a 500-year event, led to the Edenville, at the border of Midland and Gladwin counties, to fail Tuesday afternoon and caused water to flow over and around a second dam, the Sanford Dam, downstream in the Tittabawassee. More than 10,000 people had to evacuate.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump granted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's request to declare a federal emergency in Michigan.

The state requested help from the federal government for mobile bridges to get equipment to flooded areas in central Michigan for debris removal, plus assistance from National Guard emergency responders and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.