Gov. Whitmer Expands State of Emergency to include Arenac, Gladwin and Saginaw Counties

The Executive Office of the Governor Released the following statement Friday afternoon:

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-98  adding Arenac, Gladwin, and Saginaw Counties to the state of emergency declaration issued earlier this week for Midland County after heavy rains caused widespread flooding and resulted in the breach of Edenville and Sanford dams.

“Thousands of residents in these communities have been impacted by the widespread damage this flooding has caused,” said Governor Whitmer. “I have declared an emergency to provide much needed assistance  and have added Arenac, Gladwin, and Saginaw counties to the  declaration to ensure access to critical resources. I want to thank emergency responders in the region for helping to evacuate residents. Let’s all stay safe, and take care of each other.”

Officials have evacuated approximately 500 residents in Arenac County, over 100 residents in Gladwin County, and approximately 750 residents in Saginaw County, with additional evacuations likely  due to rising waters. The governor’s state of emergency will ensure resources like law enforcement support, shelter support, road repair assistance, search and rescue support, and more are available to the impacted areas.

“My staff has been working closely with county officials in affected areas as the situation has progressed,” said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD). “We will continue to partner with the county to ensure they receive the needed resources to respond and recover from this incident.”

“I appreciate Governor Whitmer for making these declarations in communities that have seen widespread damage during this time,” said Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland). “I look forward to partnering with her as we continue to protect families in impacted areas from the effects of this crisis. We are all Michiganders first, and we must continue working to protect each other when faced with a crisis like this.”

“This news today is exactly what we needed,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Jason Wentworth (R-Clare). “I am thankful the Governor approved our request. There are still people in desperate need across Gladwin and Arenac counties, but this declaration will provide the much needed support and additional boots on the ground from the state.”

On Tuesday, May 19, heavy rainfall in Midland County led to the breach of the Edenville and Sanford Dams. Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Midland County on Tuesday, and on Wednesday at a press conference at Midland High School, she announced that officials had successfully evacuated 10,000 residents from the area, with no casualties. The governor’s declaration authorizes the MSP/EMHSD to coordinate state response and recovery efforts.