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As flood waters begin to recede, fewer Midland County residents staying in shelters

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A dwindling number of people remain in flood evacuation centers in Midland County.

Thousands of Midland county residents were ordered to evacuate their homes after a pair of dams failedafter days of heavy rain earlier this week. Many are still waiting for the waters to recede. 

As flood waters rose Tuesday night, more than 250 people sought shelter in the county’s six evacuation centers.  

After the Tittabawassee River crestedin the city of Midland Wednesday that number dropped to 61.

John Searles is the Superintendent of the Midland County Educational Service Agency. He’s been in charge of the county’s six shelters. He expects the number of people will continue to decline as people stay with family, friends or make other arrangements.

Searles says local leaders are weighing whether to close or move the current shelters.

But he’s concerned what happens next.

“What we don’t know is as the water recedes and the mucking out and the restoration process starts whether or not we’ll see an influx of folks as they find out that their homes are uninhabitable,” says Searles.

The county is working with a group out of Louisiana to map out potential long-term shelter options for people displaced by the flood.

TheTittabawassee Riveris expected to fully recede in Midland by next Monday.

The river continues to rise in parts of Saginaw County.  

The Saginaw River is also rising. It’s expected to be remain in moderate flood level until next Tuesday.    

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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