Water Resources of the United States
Date: Wed, 20 May 2020 13:18:02 EDT
Summary: Minor to period of record flooding is still occurring in Lower Michigan
Strong storms passed through parts of the Midwest starting last Thursday bringing heavy rainfall in some locations served by the Upper Midwest Water Science Center. Much of lower Michigan received 4-8 rainfall.
There are currently at least 19 NWS reporting sites at minor flooding stage, 4 sites in moderate flooding stage, and two sites above major flooding stage. The Rifle River near Sterling (station 04142000 with 83 years of record) crested yesterday with streamflow exceeding the 0.002 recurrence interval. USGS crews measured streamflow very near the peak at that site yesterday.
Unfortunately, last night two major dams on the Tittabawssee River upstream of Midland failed catastrophically in succession. One of the two upstream impounded lakes (Wixom Lake) is completely drained and the other is draining. Stage may still be rising at the Tittabawassee River at Midland gage (04156000 with 84 years of record) although it is currently reading near stable at about 2 ft above POR. The gage is also near it's operating limit. Two two-person crews are on site measuring streamflow and installing a rapid-deployment gage.
Elsewhere, there are five single-person crews measuring other streams. It is anticipated that work will continue through at least tomorrow.
Forecasts show little precipitation for the next few days.
USGS staff are in contact with NWS via NWSChat often informing them of measurements as they are being made.