Sue's Story: Marine Mom Loses Home to Flood

Read in Sue's own words, how her home was destroyed by flooding in Michigan. To donate, click here.

As of 8:00 AM CST 07/03/20, we have raised $‭‭4,341.68‬ towards our $10,000 goal. (Campaign Launch Date: 06/23/2020)

43.4% Complete

Clean Up

Clean up and demolition has begun.

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Stove

Showing how high the water came up and what was left.

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Folding the Flag

The teenage boys folding the flag were important to Sue. They had volunteered in clean up efforts and saw the flag in one of the piles, and without being told the quickly took care of it and began to fold it.

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Refrigerator on It's Side

From Sue when she was able to get back that far into the house.

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Refrigerator Standing

Day one of clean up.

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Door

Taken by Kim Burgess day one when she and her husband got there to check it out prior to Sue being able to get back.

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Mud-Covered Room

Shows how high the water got in Sue's home.

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Outside Wall

Shows how high water was.

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Water in Yard

Water in backyard was what was staying there until it could drain.

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Front Room

Taken by Kim Burgess day one when she and her husband got there to check it out prior to Sue being able to get back. Also only door you could possibly open at the time due to refrigerator blocking the other door.

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Outside Wall

Shows how high water was.

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Blue House

Sue's house is directly across from the blue house and that is the road going to her house.

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Debris in Front

That was after volunteers came by with trucks and trailers and it's one of the last loads.

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Our Beloved Piano

Has been with family for 35 years.

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Door

Taken by Kim Burgess day one when her and her husband got there to check it out prior to Sue being able to get back.

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Veterans

Kim and John Burgess, along with two veterans that are working with Kim, Matt Blankenship and Brad C.

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Clean Up

Clean up and demolition has begun.

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Clean Up

Clean up and demolition has begun.

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Please donate today to help "Rebuild for Sue." Our goal is to raise $10,000. Sue's home was very humble; two bedrooms, a single bath, and a carport. CLICK HERE TO DONATE TODAY.

Through all of this, my eyes have been opened to the incredible work of so many organizations and my hope is that I can give back someday.
Sue Balcirak, Marine Mom

The day the Edenville Dam broke.

This is Sue's story in her own words.

The Edenville Dam broke on Tuesday, May 19, in the late afternoon, I'm guessing about 5:00 pm.

Over the previous few days we had had a lot of heavy rain. The night before, May 18, at about midnight the neighbor's son came over and pounded on my door, shouting that we needed to evacuate because there was fear that the dam would not be able to hold back the water. At the same time, my mom called to tell me she had also received a Nixle alert that I needed to evacuate. I grabbed a few things and left.

The next afternoon, Tuesday, June 19, at 4:00 pm, I went back home. Fortunately, the dam held! I spoke with my neighbor, Jared, and he had heard that later in the evening (10:00 pm) there would be a team of engineers at the dam and they were going to do a controlled release of the water. What a relief! For that reason, I had no fear of the dam breaking, even though we would be asked to not stay in our homes that night. I gathered clothing etc. to take back to my mom's for the night (this is where I was staying.)

At 5:00 pm I was at my home when I received a phone call from a family member stating that the dam had just broke and I needed to get out immediately! I was in shock! It was too late to grab anything. I picked up my keys and left, still thinking that while the water might rise some, it would just continue to flow through the river/lake and go on downstream. There is a shared grassy area in front of the "cove" at the end of our street, then there are two homes with large yards, and then about halfway up the street is my house. In my mind, the very worst-case scenario was that I might get a little water, maybe even a foot, but certainly no more than that! I was wrong.

My home and belongings are destroyed.

The dam breakage and resulting gush of water has been described as a tidal wave! I read that the wall of water was moving at a rate of 30 mph. I don't remember the amount of water, just that it roared through like a tidal wave! I do not have any pictures of my house surrounded by water. The only picture I have is that of my neighbor's home (in the slide show above).

The water didn't actually come in by way of the cove, but rather it came in from the street behind us. This became evident as I looked at the backyard fence which was pushed in toward my house. My refrigerator was knocked forward, which didn't make sense. My washing machine and a bookcase were all knocked forward. It didn't make sense until I looked outside and noticed the neighbor's fence. The force of the water pretty much knocked everything onto the floor or tipped furniture over, into the water. All my belongings in the shed were all shoved from the back of the shed to the front, in one big mashed pile.

On Wednesday, June 20, shortly afternoon, we went up to the house to see how it fared. As stated above, we found out.

It is amazing how God can give peace in the midst of the storm. The damage was done. Everything was destroyed. When I came back to my house the next day and saw the devastation, God quickly reminded me that while earthly treasures and even items of necessity had been destroyed, no lives had been lost. I am so thankful!

The first people on the scene to help me was a family that I hardly knew. It was Jon and Kim Burgess, parents of a fallen Marine, Ryan Burgess, who was one of my son's dear friends! How amazing to me! Soon my brothers arrived and they began the awful process of cleaning up.

We are cleaning and starting to rebuild and making some progress every day. Volunteers are here day after day, helping us get our homes rebuilt. I thank everyone for their support.

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