Soaked basements. Saturated fields. Ruined cars. Snapped power lines. Broken bridges and collapsed roadways. From coast to coast, Michigan’s communities struggle with extreme storms, high water levels, and flooding. The resulting damage can cripple communities and ruin livelihoods.
As climate change leads to more frequent and more severe storms in Michigan, it’s more important than ever to be aware and prepared for potential hazards from storms and flooding.
Other hazards associated with extreme storms and flooding
In addition to damaging homes, businesses, power lines, agricultural fields, roadways, and other infrastructure, extreme storms and floods can also:
- Wash high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients into rivers and streams, where they can lead to harmful algal blooms.
- Give invasive fish and plant species new routes for moving from one water body to another.
- Create damp environments that encourage the growth of mildew, mold, harmful bacteria, and mosquito larvae.
- Tempt people to swim, fish, wade, or boat in potentially hazardous waters. Fast-moving currents, underwater obstructions, and waterborne contaminants can all threaten the health and safety of people who take risks in floodwaters.
Michigan Sea Grant coastal storms project
Michigan Sea Grant’s Coastal Storms Project is helping communities prepare for future extreme storms. Click here to read more about the project.
Michigan Sea Grant has identified some tips and online tools to help communities assess their risks from extreme storms and determine what steps they might take to reduce stormwater impact:
- Extreme storms in the Saginaw Bay region impact public health, community safety, and economic stability (PDF)
- Tools to increase awareness of stormwater during extreme storms (PDF)
- Tools to assess risks from extreme storms in the Saginaw Bay region (PDF)
The Great Flood of 1986
In 1986, Michigan experienced a devastating storm and flood event. Michigan Sea Grant and partners have collected stories and photographs from people who experienced the historic flooding, particularly in the hard-hit Saginaw Bay region. Click here to learn more.
Disasters like the 1986 flood can teach us lessons about preparing for and coping with future storms. Click here for resources and tools.
From Michigan State University Extension
Michigan State University Extension has a wealth of resources for farmers and homeowners facing floodwaters and storms:
- Should I be worried if flood waters reach my well?
- Repairing your flood-damaged fields
- Evaluating hail-damaged crops – Part 1
- Evaluating flood-damaged crops – Part 2
- Evaluating wind-damaged crops – Part 3
- Food safety issues to consider after a flood
- Trees and flooding FAQs
- Mid-Michigan flood resource page