(04/18/14) - The flood waters are pretty much gone, but the cleanup work is just
beginning for several residents in Midland County.
The water from last weekend's heavy rain storms went away quickly, but it left behind a mess in many homes near the Sanford Dam.
A lot of residents have been out of their homes since Monday. Now, they can go back inside - and they don't like what they see.
"The stench is horrible, the carpets are just drenched, so we are trying to clean out right now," said Pat Perry.
Perry has lived in her Sanford home for more than two decades. She has seen flooding here before, but nothing quite like this.
"We've never had any come in the house, come to it, and come close," she said.
With the help of family, she is going through the home to move out what can be salvaged before new carpeting and cupboards arrive. They do have insurance.
"We have some, but not enough to cover our damages. We have about $50,000 worth of damage," Perry said.
Greg Stark has lived in his apartment house for two years. Just like the Perry's, they're moving furniture out so restoration crews can make the place livable again.
It's been rough, to say the least," he said. "I guess when our lease is up, we are going to try and find a place that is not in the flood zone."
Cliff Ziems, co-landlord of the apartments, has never seen flooding like this in the neighborhood. He wonders if officials made the right moves at the Sanford dam.
"They opened up the floodgates so fast this year, and opened them wide. It takes a little while for the water to get down the river," he said. "Just enough to make everything miserable, but not enough to hurt anyone."
The water has finally flowed down the Tittabawassee River, and while garbage day can't come fast enough, for many here, the question is, when can I live in my home again?
"I wish I knew the answer to that question," Perry said.
The company that operates the Sanford Dam, Boyce Hydro, says the floodgates had to be opened because there was even heavier rain farther north along the Tittabawassee River.
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