Sanford woman kayaks to floating home swept away by flood to recover mother’s ashes

The village of Sanford was hardest hit by massive flooding in mid-Michigan this week

Parsch and her friends are looking for her home in Sanford after it was swept away by the floods. When they first returned to the home’s location, they discovered only the foundation remained.
Parsch and her friends are looking for her home in Sanford after it was swept away by the floods. When they first returned to the home’s location, they discovered only the foundation remained.

SANFORD, Mich. – When the massive flooding overtook mid-Michigan earlier this week, Kathy Parsch was the last person to evacuate the village of Sanford.

Nearly 11,000 mid-Michigan residents were forced to evacuate their homes due to a massive flooding emergency triggered by dam failures on Tuesday.

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

Now Parsch and her friends are looking for her home in Sanford after it was swept away by the floods. When they first returned to the home’s location, they discovered only the foundation remained.

Then they saw the house -- floating in the middle of the river.

Parsch and her friends found kayaks laying around and got into the water. The Sanford woman was on a mission to recover her mother’s ashes that were left inside the home when she evacuated.

“I think she wanted to go down with the ship," Parsch said of her mother. "She wanted to stay with my house, I think.”

Parsch says she’s overwhelmed by how the people of Sanford are helping her amid this crisis, providing her food and clothes, and now helping her find her home.

“This town is amazing," Parsch said.

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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.