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Flood debris cleanup underway in Sanford

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 5:53 PM EDT
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SANFORD, Mich. (WJRT) -The Four Lakes Task Force is starting to remove the debris pile at the Sanford Dam.

It’s very exciting, to make this much progress in this short of a time," said Village of Sanford President, Dolores Porte.

The road to recovery in the Village of Sanford has been slow, but steady---since the collapse of the Edenville and Sanford dams back in May.

The breaches led to historic flooding and millions of dollars in damage.

Sanford was one of the hardest hit areas.

Monday was a major milestone for the community.

“We’ve had 5 businesses reopen. We have two of the big businesses, the Sanford Hardware and the Red Oak getting ready to rebuild, this week. We have the dam cleanup this week. We believe that the roads are going to open on Friday so this is really a big week in Sanford, actually,” she said. Porte said one of the biggest hurdles the village has faced is the massive amount of debris left behind.

“It’s going to be great to have the debris cleaned off the dam for a number of reasons. it’s a sign of progress forward. It takes away debris that could have contaminants in it. We are going to return things to homeowners if they have something in that debris and it just shows that we are making progress in cleaning up the area,” Porte said.

“There’s the pigs with the gas in them, the wood. There are people’s pontoons so it’s a variety of of debris,” she said.

If you believe you have some items that may be in the debris, Porte says there is way to claim it.

“They go on to the Four lakes task force website and there is a form you can fill out that talks about what type of debris. if you have a picture of the debris and the volunteers will try and find it as they are sorting through it. So it’s going to be a big effort to get people their belongings,”

Porte estimates there are thousands of yards of debris at the base of the dam and it should take a couple of weeks to sort through and remove all of it.

“None of this would have been possible without all of the volunteers we’ve had come to Sanford. Volunteers have come from all over state, all over the county, all over the country and via money, equipment, time, so it’s been a fabulous outpouring of love toward our community and we really appreciate it,” Porte said.

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