When the Tittabawassee River flooded on May 19, most of the attention went to Midland, Mich., and Dow Inc.'s headquarters operations in the city.
Luckily, although the river crested 11 feet above flood stage in Midland and some water commingled with Dow's retention ponds, the news out of Midland wasn't as bad as it could have been.
But it still made a big impact.
Bruce Meyer, editor of sister publication Rubber & Plastics News, has a firsthand account from Charles Lenk, vice president of Laur Silicone Inc. in Beaverton, Mich. Lenk and his family went from a home on Sanford Lake to a home where his pontoon boat sits flipped over on a piece of mud that used to be Sanford Lake.
The water that made up Wixom Lake overwhelmed the Edenville Dam and poured downriver into Sanford Lake. Part of the Sanford Dam failed as well, and the water from both lakes swelled toward Midland. Lenk and his wife had only minutes to evacuate.
"By the time we got out, which was a matter of 15 minutes at most, there were firetrucks going through the neighborhoods, screaming at people to get out of their houses. It was utter chaos for a while," Lenk said. "It's like something you'd see in a movie."