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steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Thousands of lake front property owners in mid-Michigan may have to pay hundreds or potentially thousands of dollars a year to get their lakes back.

The Edenville and Sanford dams were overwhelmed after days of heavy rain back in May. The dam breaches helped create a 500-year flood along the Tittabawassee River that forced thousands to evacuate their homes in Midland, Gladwin and Saginaw counties.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking for a federal major disaster declaration for five Michigan counties still recovering from May floods.

In her letter to President Donald Trump, Gov. Whitmer says Midland, Gladwin, Iosco, Saginaw, and Arenac counties suffered a quarter billion dollars (at least $190 million for residents and over $55 million public infrastructure) in damage from flooding last month.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

In the weeks since the Edenville Dam failed, and flooded Midland, the focus has been on why it failed.

But the people who live upstream from the dam also want to know when, or if, they’ll get their lake back.  

On a stormy morning last week, Robert Beltz stands on the green manicured lawn behind his beautiful two story home on Wixom Lake. The lawn extends to what used to be the water line.

“If you walk down toward the sea wall, and look down here, it looks like a desert,” Beltz said.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report confirms that the Edenville Dam didn’t meet state standards before it failed in May.

The study was conducted by the Spicer Group, a Saginaw-based engineering firm, on behalf of the Four Lakes Task Force, a local group that was in the process of buying Edenville and three other dams at the time of the disaster.