After warning about an “imminent dam failure,” Midland County officials now say all dams appear “structurally sound” at this time.
Midland County Emergency Management has been working with Boyce Hydro to further assess the situation at the Edenville and Sanford Dams.
At this time, Boyce reports they are structurally sound, but they are unable to control or contain the amount of water that is flowing through the spill gates, officials report.
Officials still recommend evacuations for those around the lake for significant flooding concerns.
“It was kind of a short notice thing to get people out of their houses,” said paramedic Denise Cole.
Officials had previously told Edenville, Sanford, and Jerome residents living along Sanford and Wixom Lakes to evacuate.
Volunteers like Cole and Noah Kent attempted to set-up make-shift shelters at Meridian Elementary School, 3353 N. Meridian Road, and Coleman High School, 4951 N. Lewis Road.
“I definitely knew we needed to have something in place right away for those people being displaced from their homes,” said volunteer Noah Kent.
Volunteers told TV5 at one point they had 120 vehicles in the parking lots, with about 30 people staying in cots.
“I came here, and I slept in the car as best as I could. So, now we’re just waiting to see what’s going to happen,” said Edenville resident Rebecca Lanning.
Lanning left her home as a precaution.
“No, my house is fine. This is the first time, I’ve been here approximately 26 years and I’ve never had this type of situation occur,” she explained.
Having the shelter eased some uncertainty for many seeing assistance.
“People have been very, very, very supportive and thankful that we’re here. They have some place to go and come in and warm up, use the bathroom, get a drink,” Kent explained.
Lanning said he wasn’t prepared for something like this to happen, and hopes others will learn from it.
“Plan ahead. Make sure you know exactly what you want to pack up. Keep it so it’s easy to get together.”