(ORDO NEWS) — Flood waters from two collapsed dams in Michigan flooded the settlers of the Dow chemical complex and threaten the spread of toxic water to a wide area.
The complex, which also houses the headquarters of the chemical giant, is located on the banks of the Tittabavassi River in Midland, where by the end of Wednesday the rising water invaded some parts of the city center.
Kyle Bandlow, a Dow spokesman, said the flood waters had reached the outer borders of the Dow facility and flowed into holding ponds designed to hold what he described as chemical brine.
The treatment sites are located down the river from the plant, which for decades dumped chemicals into nearby waterways.
Downstream, there is a risk that contaminated sediments at the bottom of the river can be mixed by flood waters, spreading pollution downstream and along the banks of the river.
“You are worried about the speed of the current, about this wall of water descending down the river,” he said. “She just has tremendous power.”
Mr. Bandlow of Dow said the company is “implementing its flood preparedness plan, which includes safely shutting down existing facilities in place,” which continue to produce plastics and other chemicals.
He said that only key employees remained in place to monitor the situation and “manage any problems resulting from the flood.”
Over the years, the Dow complex has been producing a wide range of products, including cellophane film, polystyrene foam, Agent Orange and mustard.
Over time, Dow released chemicals into the water, resulting in more than 50 miles of dioxin pollution along the Tittabavassi and Saginaw rivers, as well as Lake Huron.
Studies have shown that dioxins can damage the immune system, cause reproductive or developmental problems, and cause cancer.
In addition, there is a tiny nuclear research reactor at this site , used to create material that can be used in experiments with products.
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