Sanford residents band together to clean up destroyed main street

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

Every business along the main street in Sanford has been damaged by the flood.
Every business along the main street in Sanford has been damaged by the flood.

SANFORD, Mich. – Every business along the main street in Sanford has been damaged by the flood.

A new energy can be found Friday on Saginaw Road as residents help clean and fix their community.

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

“All I could think of was that it looked like a war zone,” said Pam Riggie, with Sanford Pizza.

Not only is Sanford Pizza destroyed, photos inside of Riggie’s late father were also washed away.

“I had a collage of him by the register -- that’s where I lived -- gone," Riggie said. "My son came in and he found his ashes. He salvaged that for me.”

Massive flood waters slammed into the mid-Michigan village when a dam up-river failed Tuesday.

RELATED: NASA images show difference in rivers, dams after flooding in mid-Michigan

Every business was hit hard. Sanford Pizza’s pizza off was tossed through the back wall.

“Never in a million years would I think this would happen,” Riggie said.

The customers who came for pick-up to help the business stay afloat during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders returned Friday to help clean up.

“It is the same way with other businesses," Riggie said. “It is the community that pulls together.”

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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.

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.