Midland area flooding

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Midland area flooding

Unread postby chapmaja » Wed May 20, 2020 11:47 pm

What is the impact of the flooding in the Midland area on the railroads of the region? From the videos I've seen, the Dow complex appears to be underwater. This would be the cars located within the complex are likely also underwater. Would this create a risk of possible release of their contents into the floodwater? The yard itself does appear, based on topographical maps to be slightly above the 11 feet above the flood stage. If that is the case, it is possible the majority of cars within the complex would avoid significant damage. Is the mainline to Saginaw generally high enough above the river to avoid significant damage from flooding?

From the looks of it, the Lake St tracks would appear to be at the most risk of severe damage from the flooding while the HESR appears to be at a higher elevation.

Are there any bridges which have suffered damage as a result of the flood.

Also, as the water moves downstream, with this be a threat to the railroad lines in and around Saginaw and Bay City?
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Re: Midland area flooding

Unread postby Saturnalia » Thu May 21, 2020 12:44 am

I haven't heard much talk all-around. I would suspect that Saginaw and Bay City will see high river levels but by the time the flood made it there it was both more spread out and the river channel is many times larger.

As for railcars in floodwaters, the primary concern will be water in the bearings. If they get wet they may need to be replaced to prevent future hotboxes.
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Re: Midland area flooding

Unread postby MiddleMI » Thu May 21, 2020 1:34 am

Whichever line it is that access Dow Chemical appears to be almost entirely raised out of the floodway:

https://cityofmidlandmi.maps.arcgis.com ... cbf47edd6a

Looks like southeast of town near the community of Mapleton the waters could overtop the line, but I'm not sure if they have.

Kind of worried about what's going to happen down in Saginaw and Bay City as all this water makes it to the Bay, though.
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Re: Midland area flooding

Unread postby GTW6401 » Thu May 21, 2020 3:18 am

The Chippewa and Pine River also flow into the Tittabawassee River near Midland. The Molasses, Sugar, and Tobacco rivers also are tributaries of the Tittabawassee.

Midland has had large scale flooding in the past. The 1986 floods were also very destructive.

Hopefully a lot of water goes into the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. Its 10,000 acres of marshes with four major water sources that flow into the Saginaw River. Bay City will see higher water levels and some flooding around Veterans Park and Middlegrounds.

Dow contracts with RailServe, which would have moved any railroad equipment to higher ground.

The tracks that would have seen the most damage is now the Pere Marquette Rail Trail . The 1986 flooding might have given the railroad another reason to abandon the line to Clare. It would have been totally underwater near Sanford then and now. The trail still uses the old railroad bridge in Sanford to cross the river there.

Lake State is far more effected by the flood water in Midland and Freeland than HESR is. Huron and Eastern comes into Midland from the east a couple miles away from the river. The Lake State also crosses the Tittabawassee just south of M-46 on the line to Paines. There is lots of flooding reported in that area near Shields.

The railroad also suffered a major washout in Tawas this week.
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Re: Midland area flooding

Unread postby fmilhaupt » Sat May 23, 2020 9:02 pm

It occurs to me that the Sanford Historical Society's facility, with its rolling stock and the former Sanford depot, is/was most likely too close to the river to have escaped harm. I imagine that it would come down to a matter of elevation.

Obviously, the folks in Sanford have bigger things to be concerned with, though.
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Re: Midland area flooding

Unread postby MiddleMI » Sat May 23, 2020 10:07 pm

They were luckier than most; everything east of the river was basically destroyed. Their latest Facebook post:

https://www.facebook.com/SanfordCentennialMuseum/

The museum took about a foot of water in all buildings. We're asking volunteers to help with clean up to arrive starting at 10 am today, May 21. 2020. Thanks for any assistance.


Also, the village is still without power last I checked.
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