Bay County Preparing for High River Water


Update:  As of midday Thursday, the National Weather Service reports the Saginaw River has crested.  Although it may fluctuate a few inches for a period of time.


Over the last week, Bay County has received 4-5 inches of rain.

The county experienced over 40 road closures during this rain event and those roads are beginning to open back up. Bay County Emergency Management has been preparing for high water levels and rain events this spring as they have been navigating the historic high water levels of the last year or two.

Due to the Edenville Dam failure, Midland County is dealing with historic and catastrophic levels of water in their community.

“While we deal with the current flooding in Bay County, along with all Bay County residents, my heart goes out to our neighbors in Midland, Saginaw, Arenac and Gladwin Counties as they deal with the horrific flooding in their communities,” says Bay County Executive Jim Barcia. “I know during trying times such as these, the Great Lakes Bay Region will stand together, help each other, and care for one another in any way possible”.

In consulting with the National Weather Service and the United States Coast Guard, Bay County has been advised that the Saginaw River gauge at Saginaw will peak at 22.2 feet on Friday, May 22. Flooding in the Saginaw River area in Saginaw is expected to be moderate. That water will then move toward Bay County.

“To put this data into perspective, the National Weather Service is predicting water levels similar to the flooding event Bay County experienced over the 4th of July in 2019 and expecting the peak river level will be a foot to a foot and a half higher than where it currently sits,” says Bay County Emergency Management Coordinator Ryan Manz. “Bay County will be actively monitoring this situation for changes to ensure the safety of our residents. It is critical that all County residents sign up for Bay Alerts as any flood and evacuation information will come through that system first.”

You can sign up for Bay Alerts here, by email or for the hearing impaired (TDD), by calling (989) 895-4049.

Bay County residents should prepare for this predicted surge of water by creating evacuation plans with their family and housemates, moving items in their basement to higher levels, check their sump pumps, and take other preparedness efforts detailed at

Additionally, Bay County agencies have been working collectively to ensure residents and infrastructure will be safe. Manpower and resources have been sent to Midland County to assist in their effort during their time of need.