Mich. sheriff ready to use 39,000-pound military-grade vehicle for flooding rescues

The 12-foot-tall Mine-Resistant Ambush Resistant vehicle has been previously deployed to extricate individuals affected by shoreline flooding


Cole Waterman
MLive.com

BAY CITY, Mich. — The Bay County Sheriff’s Office is standing at ready to deploy a 39,000-pound military-grade vehicle if needed to rescue people affected by flooding after the failure of Edenville Dam and breach of Sanford Dam, both in neighboring Midland County.

Sheriff Troy R. Cunningham said he touched base with Midland County Sheriff Scott Stephenson and Michigan State Police Tri-City Post Commander Mark Burch on the evening of Tuesday, May 19, the same day the two dams were compromised due to excess water from days of heavy rainfall. He was told manpower from Cunningham’s deputies wasn’t needed at that time, though they might need it in the future.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office's MRAP. (Photo/BCSO)
The Bay County Sheriff's Office's MRAP. (Photo/BCSO)

In the meantime, the sheriff’s office made sure its 2008 Mine-Resistant Ambush Resistant (or MRAP) truck is ready to go to aid in assisting people whose homes are evacuated. The sheriff’s office acquired the approximately 12-foot-tall MRAP in August 2017. Its tires alone are about 3 feet tall and its doors weigh 800 pounds. It can hold a maximum 25,000 pounds and eight seated people, driver included.

Cunningham previously said the vehicle would be used in rescue operations. It was first deployed in April 2018 to help extricate Bangor Township residents affected by shoreline flooding.

“Yesterday, we had a deputy take it for a test drive just to make sure everything was up to snuff,” Cunningham said.

Deputies also went to Walmart to get extra supplies for the vehicle, some of which — such as life jackets and personal protective equipment — the business donated.

“We got the dive team on standby in case Bay, Midland, or Saginaw County needs it, as well as the MRAP,” Cunningham said. “We’re getting geared up and ready. In case anybody needs us, we’ll be there. We’re on-ready for rescue.”

Ryan Manz, Bay County’s emergency management coordinator, could not be reached for comment.

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