1 year later: Mid-Michigan flood victims recall challenges, face new frustration

How a Mid-Michigan woman found her mother's ashes after last year's flood
How a Mid-Michigan woman found her mother's ashes after last year's flood

MIDLAND COUNTY, Mich. – It was one year ago that the Edenville and Sanford dams gave way, leading to devastating floods in Mid-Michigan.

Much of the mess has been cleaned up, but residents are still feeling the impact from the flooding -- especially in the town of Sanford.

Residents that once had lakefront homes and now have no lake are being asked to pay a tax to fix the dams and refill the lakes.

Kathy Parsch lost her home in the flooding. She was the very last person to make it out of the village of Sanford.

“If I stayed I would have been toast. I would have died,” Parsch said.

Her home was hit by the floodwaters and her mother’s ashes were swept away. Parsch and some friends took kayaks out to search for the ashes.

“I didn’t think we would find her, that was my last time. I wasn’t coming back out here anymore,” Parsch said.

After some searching she was able to locate the ashes buried in two feet of mud.

Watch the videos above and below for the full report.

1 year later: Mid-Michigan flood victims face frustrations as they rebuild
1 year later: Mid-Michigan flood victims face frustrations as they rebuild

1 year later, few solutions for those impacted by mid-Michigan dam failures

It has been a whole year since the catastrophic mid-Michigan dam failures wiped out entire communities.

So many Michiganders who lost so much in the subsequent floods are still searching for help and answers -- and it may be a long time before they get either.

In May last year, the Edenville and Sanford dams broke, flooding the towns of Midland and Sanford, completely wiping out homes and businesses.

Now, one year later, there might be little left to clean up -- but one major question remains: Who is going to pay for all of the damage?

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About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.