Debris removal beginning at Sanford Dam; residents can pick up items soon

Crews will begin removing a large amount of property piled up in the water behind the Sanford...
Crews will begin removing a large amount of property piled up in the water behind the Sanford Dam this week.(WJRT)
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 1:04 PM EDT
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MIDLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Residents along the Tittabawassee Rivers and the Four Lakes area who lost property when the Edenville and Sanford dams failed in May will get a chance to retrieve it soon.

A large of amount of debris floated down the river and piled up behind the Sanford dam in May, which is still in the water. The Four Lakes Task Force, which is attempting to buy the dams, received grants to begin clearing debris from the water beginning this week.

“This is an important milestone in the clean-up process and we are grateful to NRCS for its financial support, as well as many volunteers who are helping to remove, sort and label residents' belongings and coordinate the process,” said David Kepler, president of the task force.

Workers from Fisher Contracting will take an inventory of items recovered from the water with identifying marks, such as the owners' names or registration numbers. They will make an effort to contact owners and make arrangements to return the property as much as possible.

The Four Lakes Task Force also has established a website for property owners to file a debris claim form.

Items removed from the water will be stored in a locked area at 264 W. Center St. in Sanford. Volunteers will try to contact owners when property is recovered while police will reach out to owners when items registered with the state, such as boats and motors, are recovered.

Any unclaimed items removed from the water will be taken to a landfill. The task force will not sell or give away unclaimed property.

Residents are not allowed to retrieve their own property around the dam. Only crews from Fisher Contracting will be allowed to pull debris from the water.

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