Heavy rainfall for two days, overwhelmed by water the dam broke. On Tuesday May 19, 2020 two dams in Central Michigan failed. Catastrophic flooding forced 10,000 evacuations in Midland, with close to 1,000 people evacuating from the nearby towns of Sanford and Edenville. The Governor of Michigan declared a state of emergency for Midland County after the Edenville and Sanford dams had catastrophic failures and warned that downtown Midland could be under 9 feet of water by the following afternoon.

On local television news homes were seen floating away off there foundation, streets were flooded up to the top of stop signs as the water was still rising, businesses were destroyed and a woman was missing after being overtaken by flood waters. A retiree spoke to a news reporter stating that her home was destroyed by flood water and when she called the insurance company to see if they would cover damages, she was told no. The retiree said “our whole life is in that house underwater... this is all we have and now there is no help whatsoever”.

This same disastrous situation could happen in years to come if the Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir Dam is built in its proposed location outside of the City of Patterson California. This proposed dam will become a lingering danger to our community. Community members have spoken out against this proposed dam and have demanded that it be built at an alternative location that does not put the city of Patterson, with an estimated population of 25,000, in harms way. As a community we must do everything in our power to stop this project in its current form!

Sean Hansen

Patterson resident

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