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Flood recovery sessions available for survivors as one-year anniversary nears

Published: May. 13, 2021 at 5:08 PM EDT|Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 7:26 PM EDT
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MIDLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - The road to recovery from last May’s historic floods in Midland and Gladwin counties following the collapse of the Sanford and Edenville dams continues a year later.

But the rebuilding process has been about more than replacing homes and businesses.

“You could have had limited flooding or even no flooding and felt some kind of traumatic response,” said trauma recovery specialist Sarah Owens.

Owens is a former teacher who now helps other educators to better understand how traumatic events can impact them in the classroom and their students.

She was part of a panel for the Midland Community Foundation and Long-term Recovery Group reflecting on the upcoming one year anniversary of the devastating flooding, approaches.

“This whole past year, you haven’t really felt much because this first year has been a lot of action and now as you kind of reflect back, I’ve talked to some teachers who say they are just now starting to process,” Owens said.

Kathy Dollard is the director of Behavioral Health at MidMichigan Health. She is also a flood survivor. She says a year later, rehab work continues on her home, which is adding to the trauma for her.

“I know I sometimes think, I just want these folks to be done. I want my house to be back to normal and my life to be back to normal,” said Dollard.

She said it’s important to understand that it’s OK to seek help if the strain of the past year still weighs heavily on you.

“Whether it’s talking with each other, our neighbors, with our friends who can have some understanding and just hold space for us to be able to mourn this past year a little bit and move past this trauma,” Dollard said.

Click here to attend a session.

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