‘Your whole life is in a house and it’s gone’ -- Residents in Midland County return after evacuations

Mid-Michigan homes, roads destroyed by massive flooding after dam failures

Homeowners return to devastation in Mid-Michigan.
Homeowners return to devastation in Mid-Michigan.

SANFORD, Mich. – Many people who lived in Sanford returned home to find nothing left after Tuesday’s dam failures and floods.

“Roads were blocked off so this is the first time we could get here," said Pat Perry. "It is astonishing. I can’t believe the devastation.”

READ: ‘Catastrophic’ flooding, evacuations in mid-Michigan as dams fail: What to know

Pat and Jerry Perry could walk back into the village of Sandford Thursday to check to see if their home of 31 years is still standing.

“You don’t expect it to be gone. It’s something you can’t even fathom," Pat Perry said. "Your whole life is in a house and it is gone.”

RELATED: 'Devastating. Just Devastating’ -- Wixom Lake becomes muddy field after dam failures

“You can see where my house was," Jerry Perry said. "My neighbors home floated down the river and to the back of the Dollar General.”

When a dam upriver gave way, a wall of water took much of the village out -- including Pat and Jerry’s home. The scale of the destruction can take your breath away.

“I am glad everyone is safe. Things are just things, but it is a hard pill to swallow," Pat Perry said. “We hope we can find somewhere else to live and somewhere that is affordable for us.”


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.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.