Work begins on debris in Sanford following weather delay

Debris at the base of the Sanford dam left behind following historic flooding in May.
Debris at the base of the Sanford dam left behind following historic flooding in May.
Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 6:36 PM EDT
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SANFORD, Mich. (WJRT) -(10/26/20)< It’s the biggest cleanup project to place since historic floods caused millions of dollars in damage following the collapse of the Edenville and Sanford dams back in May.

“Our expectation here is that we will be approximately 10 days of actual excavation work and we are trying to recover things that belong to people. We have a place on our website where people can enter information about things that they lost,” said Four Lakes Task’s Bill Gebo.

“Yeah, it’s amazing what they’ve already done. They already pulled a lot of wood, a lot of debris and we are sorting it to give back to residents who have put a claim in for it,” said President of the Village of Sanford, Dolores Porte.

Dolores Porte--President of the Village of Sanford says there are all kinds of items being discovered in the debris filled water.

“Somebody put in a claim for a bear and I mentioned that and somebody said oh here’s a bear. It’s a little tiny bear that' s planter. We don’t think its the one they were looking for, it was hilarious,, because I said somebody is looking for a bear,” Porte said.

The cleanup project is primarily being funded by the NSRC, a federal agency part of the Department of Agriculture. But the progress to get this point wouldn’t have been possible without the effort of countless volunteers.

“It was a major collaboration of volunteers. From the Village of Sanford and that cleanup to going door to door to do damage assessments and just the Four Lakes Task Force and the effort they put forth,” said Eric Forshee, volunteer, Fisher Contracting.

With this project now underway Porte says there is now a light at the end of the tunnel for the Village of Sanford.

“This kind of project really cinches things this week. It’s been amazing,”

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