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Sanford Still Rebuilding Three Years After Edenville Dam Failure

Friday marked three years since heavy rains and nearly a century of miscalculations led to the failure of the Edenville Dam in Midland County.

Now, three years later, the Village of Sanford, that was hit hardest by the flood, is still rebuilding.

The dam failure caused more than $200 million in damages, led to the evacuation of 10,000 people and destroyed 150 homes around the city of Midland. Miraculously, no one was killed in the historic flooding.


This weekend, three years later, the village is celebrating their progress and looking ahead to the future.

“Three years ago, this area was underwater and once it receded, we were left with a muddy mess and a lot of construction,” Sanford Village President, Dolores Porte, recalls.

Porte says the town is beginning to look how it once did and they’ll be celebrating their progress with events this weekend.

“Our mantra since the flood has been Sanford Rising, we’re going to come back bigger and better,” Porte explains.


Friday, they had a car show, with a day’s worth of events scheduled for Saturday, including a pancake breakfast and wiener dog races.

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On top of construction at the Village Park, 10 new homes that were purchased through a grant from the federal government are being built this year.

A resident of Sanford for 12 years, Neil Provost says it’s been, “awesome” to see the resilience from the community.

“What we went through three years ago, and to now just drive downtown and see all the changes, it’s just amazing to see all the progress,” Provost admits.


Provost was one of the organizers who put on the Sanford Rising Car Show on Friday.

“It’s just a way to bring the community together and to just have people come out and reminisce about what we’ve gone through and just have something happy to do,” Provost states.

Porte says while there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, she expects Sanford to grow bigger and better than before. She also has her fingers crossed that Sanford Lake will return in 2025.

“We’re very excited about our future actually and all the different things we’ll be able to do here,” Porte says.

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