Striking images show how the lake destroyed the Michigan dam failure

This photo shows a view of a dam on Wixom Lake in Edenville, Mich., Tuesday, May 19, 2020. People living along two mid-Michigan lakes and parts of a river have been evacuated following several days of heavy rain that produced flooding and put pressure on dams in the area. (Kaytie Boomer/The Bay City Times via AP)

Officials warned nearby residents to evacuate all day Tuesday because of concerns that the hydroelectric dam holding back Lake Wixom would break.

It was announced on Facebook around 6:00 pm. Tuesday that the dam had failed – and a river of water rushed along the Tittabawassee river. The unstoppable flow of water continued through the night and Wednesday’s daylight showed how little was left of the lake.

The satellite image below from 10 June 2018 shows what the dam area normally looks like. The whole lake covered about 2600 acres, according to Michigan Department of Natural Resources report in 2009.

A screenshot of a video made on Tuesday afternoon by Timothy Wenzel shows how heavy rains pushed the water level on the lake. Water can be seen flowing from the dam’s spillway – officials were trying to free the water from the lake to maintain the integrity of the dam.

After the dam failure, a screenshot of Wenzel shows the lake water being sucked through the dam wall. Another screenshot of pilot Ryan Kaleto shows the water roaring downstream towards the communities of Edenville and Sanford.

On Tuesday the Tittabawassee River violates the Edenville Dam.

So much water was released from Lake Wixom on Tuesday evening that there is a bed exposed under the nearby piers, as shown in a Twitter video.

The dam failure came after days of intense rain.

With the water continuing to drain from the lake, the cities downstream are preparing for extensive destruction.

Rising waters breached the Edenville and Sanford dams – which normally contain the Tittabawassee River to create two separate lakes – north of Midland after days of heavy rain.

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“In the next 12-15 hours, Midland center may be under about one and eighty feet of water,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said at a press conference.


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