Sanford flood victim surprised with new home

Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 6:21 PM EDT
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(06/24/2020) - Penny Tyler lived in a little red home in Sanford for most of her life until floodwaters swept it away in May.

"It was a very small house but we did it and we were happy," she said.

The house had been in Tyler's family for 55 years since she was just 3 years old.

"Raised four kids in this house-- mom and dad and four kids," Tyler said

More than five decades of memories, including her beloved home, were destroyed by the historic floods that swept across parts of Midland County after the Edenville and Sanford dams collapsed on May 19.

"I didn't know if I would ever come back and live other than in that camper," Tyler said.

She relies on Social Security due to injuries she suffered in a car accident. Insurance wouldn't cover the damage from the flood.

"I didn't know what i was going to do. I knew I didn't have the money to rebuild," Tyler said.

On Wednesday, she learned that she won't need a dime. Dave Dennis, owner of Great Lakes Homes, surprised Tyler on Wednesday with the gift of a new house.

He plans to build the house from the ground up at no charge to Tyler fast enough so she'll be moved in before the weather gets very cold this winter.

Tyler said she was overwhelmed by the generosity.

"I'm just so excited I don't know what else to say," she said

Tyler is getting even more help. The Islamic Center of Midland and the Midland Area Interfaith Group are coming together to help furnish the home.