The flooding in Midland following the failure of two dams on the Tittabawassee River is devastating. All of us at HRWC are thinking of those affected and are hoping no one gets hurt.

The Huron River is currently near minor flood stage at Ann Arbor. It set a record for May 19th and tied the 9th highest level on record. Minor flood stage is 16 feet. The highest level the Huron reached at the Ann Arbor gage was 15.95 feet and it has now begun to subside. You can view a graph of the river flow here.

Assessing stream flow gages throughout the watershed, it appears that Hamburg is the only area that will reach flood stage, with minor flooding predicted.

Given the failures of the Edenville and Sanford Dams on the Tittabawassee, we’ve heard concerns about dams on the Huron.  At this time, there are no reported issues with dams in our watershed associated with this rain event, and the river level is expected to drop steadily with fair weather over the next few days.

The storm that led to the failure of the dams on the Tittbawassee dropped upwards of 7 inches of precipitation in some parts of Michigan, with much of the watershed upriver of Midland recording more than 4 inches. By comparison, most of the Huron River watershed saw 1 to 3 inches in the same time frame. Our watershed was spared the worst of the storm.

Waters are High on the Huron River So Stay Safe!

Flooding at Lower Huron Metropark in May 2020. Parks are designed to flood first during high flows. Credit: Adrian Bradley

Many park areas that are designed to flood first are under water. Please exercise extreme caution if you plan to visit the river corridor. Please stay out of the river during these high-flow conditions. Even though surface waters may appear to be slow-moving or calm, deeper waters could be moving faster and currents under the surface may be overwhelming.

The Washtenaw County Sherrif’s Office has issued the following advisory:

Swift Water Safety Warning Following Recent Rainfall

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office is urging the public to exercise extreme caution when engaging in recreational activities on any stream or river in Washtenaw County or surrounding areas. The recent heavy rainstorms have elevated water levels in rivers & streams which has increased the speeds of the currents. Even if the water may seem calm at the surface, the currents under the surface may be overwhelming.

  • The Marine Patrol recommends that anyone engaging in water activities wear a life jacket.
  • We also strongly urge you to let a family member or friend know of your intentions on or near the water and to check in when complete.
  • Keep a close watch on children even if they are far from the water. They can quickly enter the water and get in trouble when your attention is diverted for only a moment.
  • Don’t go into the water after someone who is in trouble. Rescue from shore and get help.

Regardless of how a river or stream may appear at the surface, severe caution should always be taken to avoid injury or death.

In the event of an emergency, call 911 immediately to report the incident.