Historic Flood in Michigan Heavily Damages Roads and Bridges

Lansing, MI – Historic flooding in Michigan — due to the failure of two dams — has closed numerous roads in the central part of the state.

“What I can tell you is what you already know, you’ve seen from the pictures: It’s devastating,” Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a press conference on Wednesday.

“It’s hard to believe that we’re in midst of a 100-year crisis, a global pandemic, and that we’re also dealing with a flooding event that looks to be the worst in 500 years,” Whitmer continued.


On Tuesday, the National Weather service announced “catastrophic dam failures” at the Edenville and Sanford Dams, which are located seven miles apart and approximately 140 miles north of Detroit.

The flooding caused serious road impacts in Gladwin, Midland and Saginaw counties.

Jocelyn Hall, Communications Representative for Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Bay Region told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) the two dams are privately owned, so MDOT does not have jurisdiction over them.

Hall said a majority of the roads that are closed span East-West of the Tittabawassee River.

Additionally, several bridges sustained significant damage.


While Hall said MDOT’s interactive map showing road closures normally only shows MDOT owned roads, the Department made a special exception in this instance.

You can view an interactive map of the road closures, regardless of the locations and jurisdictions, by clicking HERE.

Notably for truckers traveling through central Michigan, an approximately 35 mile span of Highway 10 between Clare and Golden is shut down.

Hall told TNN there is no goal date for the repairs of the heavily damaged roads and bridges.

However, MDOT is planning an emergency meeting on Friday with contractors to receive preliminary bids for the repairs.

Due to the continued flooding, Hall said a full scale inspection of the damage cannot be completed and could take up to several weeks, depending on how extensive the damage is.


“With the water was rushing a particular direction, there are sections of pavement on [one] bridge approach that we completely lost,” Hall said.

“That’s just what you can see on the surface. There is potential the footings of the bridge have also been compromised,” she told TNN.

Truckers traveling the area should keep a close eye on the road closures on MDOT’s interactive map.

MDOT is reminding all motorist to not ignore any barricades blocking any roads.


Photo courtesy MDOT


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