Skilled Trade Volunteers Help to Rebuild Sanford Homes Destroyed in Floods

Earlier this year, hundreds of homes were destroyed by the historic floods that swept through Midland County.

In May, heavy rain flooded the Tittabawassee river, causing the Edenville Dam to break. That sent a flash flood through parts of Midland County, filling homes with feet of water and even taking some them off of their foundations.

Now, dozens of people in the trades are volunteering their skills to help rebuild homes.

“It’s devastating and that we need as much help as we can get,” says Shelly Sampier from Sanford.

Sampier’s home was one of the many destroyed in the floods. She says more than ten feet of water filled her home, damaging all of her belongings.

“I thought that maybe it was just going to be waterlogged, but it wasn’t like that. It was like a hurricane inside the house.”

Sampier says she received 35,000 dollars from FEMA, but that only covered a quarter of the work needed to rebuild her home.

“I’m not in the floodplain, so if you weren’t in the flood plain, you usually wouldn’t have flood insurance, you can’t even get it,” says Sampier.

Now, volunteers from the Michigan Building Trades Union are stepping up to help homeowners like shelly rebuild.

Travis Brady, a representative for Michigan Building Trades, says, “Unions were founded on reaching down and helping people up, so any chance that we can come together and do it, we would like to do it.”

Brady says so far, their volunteers from across the state have put in a thousand hours, even donating supplies like drywall and electric work.

“It is a great feeling. The men and women in the building trades, most of them went through a five-year apprenticeship program; to be able to come out there and put that on display and help out where we’re really needed, it’s a great honor for us.”

Sampier says she’s grateful for these volunteers, using their skills to make Sanford Strong:

“It’s wonderful to have these groups, it restores your faith in humanity.”