LANSING, MI – On Tuesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer confirmed that she is “actively in talks” with Joe Biden’s campaign regarding running as the Democratic presidential candidate’s vice president.
On Today, Whitmer said:
“I’ve had a conversation with some folks. It was just an opening conversation and it’s not something that I would call a professional formalized vetting.”
— Jim Hoft (@gatewaypundit) May 20, 2020
The Governor has previously stated that she didn’t want the position, but has recently said she’s keeping her options open, especially since she thinks it’s so important for Biden to have a female running mate.
Whitmer said on Tuesday:
“I am making a little bit of time to stay connected to the campaign, but the most important thing that I have to do right now is be the governor of my home state. That’s all that matters to me in this moment.”
Well isn’t that a sweet notion.
Despite the fact that so many in her state have protested against her, saying that she has gone way overboard in her executive orders, which some have called tyrannical and draconian, she still vows to take care of the residents of Michigan.
Meanwhile, thousands upon thousands of Michiganites are currently displaced due to flooding in Midland County.
Multiple dams have broken in the county, and nearly 11,000 people are out of their homes. The flooding has crested as of now at around 35 feet and officials are “cautiously optimistic” that the water will begin receding soon.
As we sign off for the night, we want to remind folks that we evacuated ~11k people in >12 hrs in a 500-year flood w/out a single casualty or 1 major injury. That is what happens when our residents listen to our warnings & work w/us. Thank you Midland for making our jobs easier❤ pic.twitter.com/cdyt34nPMd
— City of Midland, MI (@CityofMidlandMI) May 21, 2020
Whitmer did not have a contingency plan in place; she had no idea what she would do if something else other than a virus popped up in her state, and now the residents of Midland County are paying the price.
Shelters are being shared with those who are being quarantined due to COVID-19. Some neighboring counties are taking friends, and even strangers in some cases, in out of the goodness of their hearts. Some are sleeping in their vehicles.
President Trump, thankfully, has declared a State of Emergency for Michigan which frees up some funding for the state. He was already in Michigan visiting a Ford production plant and was able to sign the order allowing Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take over and coordinate disaster relief efforts.
Midland officials asked residents to not yet return to their homes or the area. Midland County Board of Commissioners Chairman Mark Bone has said he doesn’t expect the river to drop to the 24-foot stage until “the end of the weekend or later during Memorial Day.”
“It’s essentially a mess out there, and it isn’t safe to drive around barriers or travel on the roads that are deemed closed. Everybody please stay safe and do your best out there and we’ll get through this.”
We have a large crowd of elderly residents at MHS tonight. Tough to see them go through this. Many school and community members assisting them. pic.twitter.com/NvAOvMpcqv
— Michael Sharrow (@MichaelSharrow2) May 20, 2020
After visiting Midland County on Wednesday afternoon, Whitmer said:
“I think, like everyone, it was hard to believe we’re in the midst of a 100-year crisis, a global pandemic and we’re also dealing with a flooding event that looks to be the worst in 500 years.”
The Edenville dam, which is the dam causing the most damage, was federally rated in 2018 as being in unsatisfactory condition.
Whitmer is focusing in her media comments on how poorly Boyce Hydro Power ran the dam and how they ignored the concerns that were raised against it for the 14 years they owned and operated it.
Fox News reported:
“Whitmer said the state would investigate the operators of the dams and ‘pursue every line of legal recourse we have.’
‘The initial readout is that this was a known problem for a while and that’s why it’s important that we do our due diligence.'”
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which was built in 1924, warned that the dam had inadequate spillway capacity, meaning it would not be able to prevent flooding.
Whitmer said she sympathized with those who would have to stay in a shelter during this time, especially as her orders demand social distancing, mask wearing, and other precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“This is almost unthinkable in the midst of a global pandemic. Continue to wear a face covering if you are going to a shelter. Please try to observe social distancing. I know it’s going to be hard at a shelter, but please try.”
Police, National Guard members, and firefighters went door to door warning residents that they should evacuate. Thanks to their efforts and people following through with their suggestions, there were no casualties during this incident.
“At 5:30 a.m., the Tittabawassee River had broken the record of 33.9 feet set during a 500-year flood event in 1986. At 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, the river level was 35.013 feet and rising.”
The Detroit News reported that in the town of Sanford, which has less that 1,000 residents, residents returned Thursday afternoon to find “devastation.” Houses and businesses were completely destroyed, vehicles were overturned.
Residents and business owners alike told reporters story after story of losing everything. While life was preserved, their homes and sources of income were not.
Resident C.J. Methner told a George Hunter with Detroit News:
“If FEMA doesn’t help us, we’ve lost everything — and say adios to this town, because with everything that’s happened, and all the other business owners … they lost everything.
“But this is just a bump in the road. I’m 63 years old; I’ve had a lot of bumps. What am I going to do, sit around and cry like a baby? I don’t know what we’re going to do financially, but we’ll figure it out.”
Some of the businesses have been closed for over two months. Some were hopeful of being able to reopen next week. Now, that will not be happening and they’re uncertain of what their financial future holds.
Many both live and own a business in Sanford, which means they’ve “lost double,” as one man put it. Although, if you add in the hit of not having an income during the COVID-19 closures, I’d say that’s triple.
This next part is going to hurt some of your souls, including my dad, but the story has to be shared.
One man, Timothy Evans, opened a small museum in Sanford to show people his collection of Pontiac Fieros, which are fairly rare sports cars.
The museum, Fieros Forever, Michigan, was destroyed in the flooding, along with 19 out of 20 of his classic cars.
Car enthusiasts have poured out their sadness and support on social media. Evans said people had come to see his museum from as far as Scotland and Hong Kong.
This is just one story of many devastating losses currently suffered by residents in Sanford and the surrounding areas.
There is still rain in the forecast for Midland County and Sanford, so prayers for the area are still needed.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!