Mid-Michigan county declares local emergency due to flooding - WNEM TV 5

Mid-Michigan county declares local emergency due to flooding

Posted: Updated:
MIDLAND COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

The state of Michigan has partially activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) due to the severe weather and flooding occurring throughout Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

As of 4:10 p.m., Mecosta, Midland, Newaygo, Osceola and Wexford counties have each declared a "local state of emergency."

A local emergency declaration enables a county or municipality to execute emergency operations plans, administrate local aid and assistance and issue declarations.

A local declaration also acts as a warning signal that a community is coping with an emergency or disaster. All local emergency declarations are filed with the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD).

The MSP/EMHSD is currently working with local emergency management officials to ensure communities have resources needed to respond. No requests for state assistance have been received at this time.

The SEOC was partially activated at 2 p.m. SEOC personnel are monitoring the situation in collaboration with state and local officials.

The SEOC is the emergency operations center for the state of Michigan. Located in Lansing, the SEOC is overseen by the MSP/EMHSD and coordinates response and recovery efforts by state agencies and local government.  The SEOC is staffed by members of state agencies for decision making and information coordination during disasters or emergencies in the state of Michigan.

Flooding Safety Tips

Flooding can happen gradually or abruptly during any Michigan season. Michigan citizens and visitors are encouraged to learn the terms and know what to do during a flooding emergency or disaster.

Flooding Terms

  • Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in your area.
  • Flash Flood: Rapid flooding, usually in low lying areas. Water floods with great force.
  • Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible in your area.
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur in your area. Move to higher ground and listen to local media for evacuation orders.
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring. Seek higher ground and listen to local media for evacuation orders.

Preparing for a Flood

  • Create an emergency preparedness kit with a 72-hour supply of water, including three gallons per person.
  • Scan and store important documents on an online, cloud-based program.
  • Put important documents and valuables in a water-proof container on the top floor of your home.
  • Understand how to safely turn off electricity and gas lines in your home.
  • Create an inventory of your household items and take photos of the interior and exterior of your home.
  • Consider installing sewer back flow valves to prevent flood water from backing up into your home through drain pipes.
  • Double-check sump pumps to ensure they are working properly. If possible, have a battery backup system.
  • Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency water-proofing.
  • Find out how many feet your property is above and below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.
  • Rise or flood-proof heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment by elevating equipment above areas prone to flooding. Another method is to leave equipment where it is and build a concrete or masonry block flood wall around it.
  • Anchor fuel tanks. Unanchored fuel tanks can be easily moved by floodwaters.

During a Flood

  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Disconnect all electrical equipment.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches is enough water to knock you down.
  • Do not drive in flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause you to lose control and two feet of water can sweep away your car. Remember: Turn around, don't drown.
  • Listen to local media reports for information about if the water supply is safe to drink.
  • Avoid contacting flood waters because they can be contaminated by hazardous liquids and may contain sharp debris.
  • Report and stay 25 feet away from downed power lines.

Driving in Flood Conditions

  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickup trucks.
  • Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped.
  • Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go the other way.
  • Do not try to take short cuts - they may be blocked. Stick to designated routes.
  • Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

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