State lawmakers are proposing a multi-million dollar bill to help fund repair efforts in areas affected by the flooding of May 2020.
After calling Wixom Lake home for 17 years, Larry Woodard was one of many victims of last May's devastating floods.
“It was just about total devastation. People lost their homes. They lost their values. Ours was the last house that was flooded on this street,” Woodard said.
A tragedy that regulators said was preventable and one that has prompted state lawmakers to unveil a $500 million plan to make sure what happened in Gladwin and Midland Counties doesn't happen anywhere else across the state.
State Rep. Roger Hauck, whose district includes Edenville Township, said under the proposal, $225 million dollars would go to the Four Lakes Task Force - which serves as the delegated authority for restoring the dams at Sanford, Secord, Smallwood, and Wixom Lakes.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have something in place but shame on us if we don’t learn from our past mistakes and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Hauck said.
Then $75 million would go toward fixing other dams in the state and $200 million would go to a revolving loan fund to assess dam risks.
“We hope no other community will have to go through what Gladwin and Midland County went through,” Hauck said.
Woodard said it's been a long time coming.
“This money should've been out there so that people could bring their dams up to snuff and meet the current regulations and probably we wouldn’t have had this problem here,” Woodard said.
He is 100 percent behind the proposal if it means it'll prevent other communities from enduring the same destruction and heartbreak.
“There are other failing dams. There are some other critical dams in Michigan and this was just a precursor of what can happen in those other areas,” Woodard said.