On Tuesday night, May 19 the Tittabawassee River breached the Edenville and Sanford dams north of Midland. Parts of the city of Midland and surrounding areas have reportedly been turned into lakes, with more to come. The river is forecast to crest at 38 feet later this evening, expected to leave part of Midland, population 41,000, under as much as 9 feet of water.
Midland is right in the middle of the western sugar beet growing region of Michigan. Michigan Sugar has four processing plants, with the Bay City plant, about 20 miles east of Midland, the nearest to the flooding. Michigan Sugar growers planted about 162,000 acres of beets this year, with anticipated production of around 680,000 STRV of refined sugar.
It will take a few days for things to calm down before reports of flooded beet acreage. In addition to flooding, the 4-plus inches of rains reported in the Saginaw area are also of concern, especially for beets that were recently replanted. Of the 162,000 acres, about 30,000 acres had to be replanted due to cold, wet weather.