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Whitmer: Residents 'deserve to know' why Edenville, Sanford dams failed

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Posted at 10:27 AM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 12:51:59-04

(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer said she is "committed" to doing everything she can to hold those responsible for the Edenville and Sanford Dam failures that resulted in catastrophic flooding.

Whitmer directs state to investigate failures of Edenville Dam & Sanford Dam

There was catastrophic flood damage in several mid-Michigan counties due to days of raining and the collapse of two dams.

On Tuesday, Whitmer added Iosco to Midland, Gladwin, Arenac and Saginaw counties in the state of emergency due to the flooding.

During a press conference Wednesday, Whitmer said she is working with local, state and fedearl partners to help those impacted get back on their feet.

On May 21, FEMA OK'd Gov. Whitmer's request for federal aid to assist in the recovery efforts for mid-Michigan counties impacted by the disaster.

This initial approval is limited to certain direct assistance from federal agencies to deal with immediate challenges, but could be expanded as the state and FEMA completes the damage assessment, a statement from the governor's office said.

Whitmer said the initial approval is a "good start" but said additional measures will need to be taken to protect lives and property from further damage.

She noted that the floods forced thousands of people from their homes and caused a tremendous amount of damage to infrastructure.

Additionally, Whitmer she has directed the state's Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to investigate the cause of the dam failures.

She also asked them to review dam safety in Michigan and provide recommendations that can prevent these failures from happening elsewhere.

"Residents deserve to know why these dams failed, why they've been uprooted," she said.