Dam breaks, roads crumble after destructive flooding across Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota
By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer
June 19, 2018, 1:21:04 PM EDT
Heavy storms moving across the Upper Midwest this weekend created hazardous flooding that resulted in many road closures and a dam failure.
Some of the worst damage occurred in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on Sunday morning.
The hardest-hit areas included the towns of Houghton, Lake Linden, Dodgeville and Hancock, where over 60 sinkholes were reported, according to MLive.com.
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Many roads that were not washed out were impassable and covered in debris, officials said.
On Monday, Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of disaster for Houghton and Menominee counties in response to the flood damage.
On Monday afternoon, local law enforcement reported that the Radigan Flowage Dam near Dairyland, Wisconsin, had failed. This dam is located on the Tamarack River.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in five northwestern counties due to the flood damage.
Getting our first aerial views of a breeched dam in NW Wisconsin. Believe this is on the Tamarack River near the Minnesota border. Causing lots of worry in communities downstream. Latest live reports from @CPalladinoFox9 at 9 on @FOX9 pic.twitter.com/scgAcu8SO2— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) June 19, 2018
Water flowing down the Tamarack River will empty into the St. Croix River and may lead to flooding along that river south of Markville, Minnesota.
Houghton County Emergency Management and law enforcement requested that residents should shelter in place in Houghton County and should not attempt to travel on area roadways.
Some of the flood damage was reported to be "historic" across northern Houghton County. Up to 7 inches of rain fell in the area between 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday.
In Marquette, Michigan, on Sunday, 2.57 inches of rain fell, breaking the previous daily rainfall record of 0.86 inches from 1978 and also claiming the second highest daily rainfall total for the month of June.
Michigan Technological University closed its campus on Sunday due to the flooding.
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Houghton County. Heavy rain has caused flooding, making travel dangerous.— Michigan Tech (@michigantech) June 17, 2018
Campus is closed. Please do not try to drive to campus until further notice.
More information can be found at https://t.co/VEQsvxA4bY. pic.twitter.com/Ej3o91cxrZ
Aerial surveys of the flooding were conducted on Monday by the Michigan State Police. Residents are being told to avoid contact with floodwaters because they can be contaminated by hazardous liquids.
.@MichEMHS is monitoring flooding across the western Upper Peninsula and our staff remain in contact with local emergency managers. The MSP helicopter has been surveying the flood in the affected area. These pictures are from the survey of Houghton Co. #flooding #smem pic.twitter.com/s1KIeF3eZQ— MichEMHS (@MichEMHS) June 18, 2018
Here are photos from the MSP helicopter survey of the #flooding in Houghton Co. Remember, avoid contact with flood waters b/c they can be contaminated by hazardous liquids and may contain sharp debris. pic.twitter.com/hi2gGvszVI— MichEMHS (@MichEMHS) June 18, 2018
Rain washed out part of Highway 23 in northeastern Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
In northwestern Wisconsin, the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Office told residents that travel was not advised in the area on Sunday morning and also warned motorists not to drive around barricades. A stretch of U.S. Highway 2, a major thoroughfare in that part of the state, was completely lost.
The threat of heavy thunderstorms is expected to continue in the Upper Midwest into Sunday night. However, a stretch of dry weather will unfold across these hard-hit areas through the middle of the week, which will help with cleanup efforts.
Our co-workers from State Patrol provided these scary pics of US 63, near Drummond. pic.twitter.com/SDg5RpzrRy— WisDOT NC Region (@WisDOTnorthcent) June 17, 2018
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