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Then and now: Mid-Michigan flooding

The Detroit News

Things may never fully go back to the way they were in mid-Michigan following historic flooding in May. But many areas are starting to get back to normal. 

Detroit News photographer Daniel Mears traveled back to Midland and Sanford, just over three weeks after rain-swollen floodwaters breached the Edenville and Sanford dams causing voluminous damage and flooding.

Three weeks since the flooding in Midland.  We go back to the same spot of the original photos to see how Midland, Michigan looks today on June 9, 2020.  (Image by Daniel Mears/ The Detroit News)

He shot photographs in the exact spots on June 9, 2020, that he shot three weeks earlier on May 20, 2020 — the first day after the flooding in central Michigan — to show the extensive work that has already been completed since the flood waters receded.

There is, of course, still much work to do. Here is what Mears saw. Use the slider to compare images.

Then: Flooding along the Tittabawassee River near the corner of Gordon and Anne St., with the green roof of the Midland Area Farmers Market in background, in downtown Midland, Michigan on May 20, 2020.

Now: Three weeks later at the same spot where the proceeding photograph was taken, the water has subsided and a degree of normality has returned to downtown Miland Michigan on June 9, 2020.

Then: Don Thomas of Saginaw takes his boat down a flooded W. Sgnet near Harlow Drive, past a rear entrance to MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland, to pick up his son Jason Thomas and his families two cats from their flooded home in Midland on May 20, 2020.

Now: W. Signet near Harlow Drive, with MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland on the left, is now clear and no longer 'boatable' on May 20, 2020.

Then: Don Thomas of Saginaw pulls his boat up to his son Jason Thomas who went back to his house near W. Sugnet in Midland to retrieve his families two cats on May 20, 2020.

Now: Water has subsided at Jason Thomas' home taken on June 9, 2020.

Then: A flooded dome house along W. Sugnet near MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland on May 20, 2020.

Now: With the flooding gone, a better idea of what this unusual home looks like in Midland on June 9, 2020.

Then: Dan Dice, a former United States Marine, makes his way to his house on Center street in downtown Sanford across from the Tittabawassee River on May 20, 2020.

Now: Dan Dice's home on Center street in downtown Sanford across from the Tittabawassee River has shifted on its foundation and Dice believes it will be condemned soon, taken on June 9, 2020.

Then: Dan Dice clears some debris from his front porch steps of his flooded house he shares with his wife Jordan and 2 children on Center street in downtown Sanford across from the Tittabawassee River on May 20, 2020.

Now: Dan Dice's home on Center street in downtown Sanford across from the Tittabawassee River has shifted on its foundation and Dice believes it will be condemned soon, taken on June 9, 2020.

Then: Dan Dice makes his way from the peeling walls and insulation of his flooded house he shares with his wife Jordan and 2 children on Center street in downtown Sanford across from the Tittabawassee River on May 20, 2020.

Now: Dan Dice cleaned away some of the debris in his home but believes it will soon be condemned so saved what he could but fears it will be a loss on June 9, 2020.

Then: Dan Dice on the front porch of his flooded house he shares with his wife Jordan and 2 children on Center street in downtown Sanford across from the Tittabawassee River on May 20, 2020.

Now: Dan Dice' front porch now overlooks a road with the Tittabawassee River now in the distance in Sanford, Michigan on June 9, 2020.

Then: The Tittabawassee River flows over its banks, filling a low plain along downtown Midland on May 20, 2020.

Now: No longer does the river flood a low plain along Midland on June 9, 2020 where repairs are still being worked on.

Then: The Upper Bridge pedestrian bridge flooded along the Tittabawassee River in downtown Midland, Michigan on May 20, 2020.

Now: The Upper Bridge pedestrian bridge is now driveable and walkable on June 9, 2020.

Then: Cars scattered and tipped over on W. Saginaw in downtown Sanford on May 20, 2020.

Now: Flooded cars have been removed but the damage along W. Saginaw in downtown Sanford is substantial on June 9, 2020.

Then: W. Saginaw street in downtown Sanford, downriver from the Sanford dam on May 20, 2020.

Now: Buildings that could not be repaired have already been demolished along W. Saginaw street in downtown Sanford, downriver from the Sanford dam on June 9, 2020.

Then: W. Saginaw street in downtown Sanford, downriver from the Sanford dam on May 20, 2020.

Now: W. Saginaw street in downtown Sanford, downriver from the Sanford dam on June 9, 2020.

Then: Debris piled up in the door and windows of Coles Auto Parts and Supply on W. Saginaw road in Sanford, downriver from the Sanford dam on May 20, 2020.

Now: Cleaned up and boarded up as repairs continue on Coles Auto Parts and Supply on W. Saginaw road in Sanford, downriver from the Sanford dam on June 9, 2020.

Read more

Michigan AG sues dam owners, says weakened portion at risk of catastrophic failure

Whitmer to seek flood disaster aid; Midland area damage pegged at over $175M

Midland victims face flood of costs without insurance

Midland area residents sue dam owners, state over flood damage

State found by January that Edenville Dam didn't meet Michigan safety standards

State: 5 other high hazard dams besides Edenville in poor condition

'There it goes': Video captures Edenville Dam as it is breached in historic flooding

Tittabawassee crests at 35 feet: 'Never had an event like this'