On Tuesday May 19th, the Edenville and Sanford Dams broke and flooded Midland County. 21.5 billion gallons of water rushed out at about 2,000 cubic feet per second. Houses were knocked off their foundations, 2nd story homes saw water on the 2nd level, and water with sewage contaminated homes not completely destroyed.
I want to share what my daughter Morgen and I witnessed. First, 11,000 people were evacuated safely with the assistance of the local police and firefighters who went door to door notifying the community. (Many families only had time to leave with what they were wearing.)
Recovery started immediately through local organizations and individuals providing resources and reaching out to others in need. Neighbors helping neighbors, sharing their homes or providing a meal.
A couple of Northwood University students started a Facebook group (The Pack Helps Midland) to help others. My daughter and some other students of Northwood University started volunteering in the Sanford area helping to demo homes. Through this, they would show up to a home in need and, in some instances, the owners would send them to another home with greater need. They took a box home of a friends’ family photos and salvaged what they could, picture by picture.
On May 29th, I visited the area for the first time. Street after street was lined with the contents of people’s homes waiting to be picked up and discarded. With a few others, I walked the campus of my Alma Mater, Northwood University (America’s Free Enterprise University), taking in the damage. (This is the first University to survive a 500-year flood and 100- year pandemic!) There were 200 student volunteers who quickly completed the work that they could on campus and then went into the surrounding community to help others. I talked with a student whose family lost their home and yet he was helping others that day.
The entire Midland County Area will need support for many months, maybe years. A 500-year flood is powerful. The pictures and personal accounts don’t begin to tell the stories of so many who have lost so much. MOST of this rebuilding won’t be covered by insurance and will come from donations. This is the reason I am asking you and CAM members to help. I have attached a few links to share with others.
https://www.midlandfoundation.org/fund/floodrelief/ (long term recovery)
https://eportal.unitedwaymidland.org/…/FLOOD-RELIEF-VOLUNTE… (volunteer opportunities)
https://www.northwood.edu/news/how-you-can-help-with-ongoing-flood-recovery (you can designate to directly help Northwood Employees who lost their homes)
https://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/samaritans-purse-responding-to-flooding-in-central-michigan/ (day volunteer opportunities, still in need of many)
Please consider assisting a quiet community that needs your help!