Sanford hit hardest by dam failures, flooding in mid-Michigan

Town’s manager tries to cope with disaster

Town of Sanford devastated by flooding
Town of Sanford devastated by flooding

SANFORD, Mich. – The catastrophic flooding caused by two dam failures in mid-Michigan has affected multiple communities, but nobody has been hit harder than the small town of Sanford.

Local 4′s Tim Pamplin spoke with the town’s manager, who is having a hard time coming to grips with what is happening.

The pet grooming parlor is collapsed, cars are flipped upside down and roofs are ripped off of homes.

Kim Kellog said she came home from work and saw her house floating down the river.

“I got home at 5:30, quarter to six, the dam broken, I lost my house and everything in it,” Kellog said.

After the Edenville Dam collapsed, all eyes turned to the Sanford Dam, which had water and debris pressing up against it.

Experts said it was just a matter of time.

“My dad actually came down here and tied my Toyota to the tree,” Brook Altman said. “I had a garage standing right there. (It went) downstream.”

It appears the emergency alert system worked, as thousands of residents evacuated to higher ground.

“I haven’t heard of any injuries either,” Sanford Village Manager Delores Porte said.

She said the community of 800 people is going to need help. She was grateful to hear about Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s state of emergency Tuesday evening.

“I think we’re going to need a lot of help cleaning this up,” Porte said. “There’s a lot of debris floating in the lake.”

She said the first job is to remove the debris forced up against the Sanford Dam.

Red Cross officials are also at the scene to help residents.


About the Authors:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.