If there was any doubt, Midland made it clear.

About $200 million in damage.

About 2,500 buildings damaged.

Some 10,000 people evacuated.

All because two dams failed.

We have to invest in infrastructure.

Several dams in Northeast Michigan, including the Four Mile, Norway Point, and Ninth Street dams in Alpena County, are considered high-risk, meaning a dam failure would likely cause a loss of life. Two area dams, Four Mile and the Alcona Dam in Alcona County, are both high-risk and were rated as in unsatisfactory condition in their most recent inspections, according to state and federal records on which News staff writer Steve Schulwitz reported recently.

All of Alpena sits at the foot of the Thunder Bay River, with multiple lakes upstream whose levels are controlled by dams. We could be Midland.

Government coffers have been drained by both spending on the fight against the coronavirus and the loss of tax revenue from the economic shutdowns that were part of that fight.

But Midland made it clear.

We have to prioritize. We have to pick apart every penny. We have to make tough decisions.

We have to invest in our infrastructure — roads, tunnels, bridges, power plants, internet. And now.

Democrats and Republicans, public and private sector, state, local, and federal governments, we have to come together.

We have to find a way.

This article appeared in The Alpena News. Read more here.