As if the coronavirus wasn’t enough for the state of Michigan in 2020, residents there have had in recent days been forced to suffer the wrath of Mother Nature as flooding hit certain regions.
For Tim Evans, owner of a museum and a shop in Sanford dedicated to the Pontiac Fiero, a near-lifetime’s work found itself under water after a nearby dam burst and flooded the town.
Evans told media outlet The Drive that he moved 12 cars from his incredible collection as soon as he heard about rising water levels to a spot on the street that hadn't been flooded in the past. His garage had never been flooded either and he was told that the dam on Wixom Lake upstream would never break. Unfortunately, that’s precisely what happened.
In fact, two dams failed on the Tittabawassee River, resulting in historically high flood levels downstream. The Edenville Dam first collapsed on Tuesday, sending water from Wixom Lake over the Sanford Dam and into the village of Sanford, upstream of the town’s dam. The Edenville Dam, built in 1924, had received an unsatisfactory rating in 2018. Both dams were in the process of being sold to new owners.
Evans also told The Drive that the call to evacuate the area came at about 6:30 a.m. after the dam holding back the waters of Wixom Lake collapsed. Most of his cars were left to the onrushing waters, including several pieces from his museum that had recently been scheduled to be auctioned off. That auction has been cancelled due to the deteriorated condition of the cars.
Debris swept along by the flood waters also damaged the building housing his museum.
The cars that Tim Evans kept there were absolutely magnificent. They included a 1984 pace car edition and an IMSA race car, as well as rare body kits. One of them was a rare blue colour given to only one out of every 4,400 models made.
It’s estimated by the Michigan Fiero Club that around 370,000 Fieros were produced in all by General Motors between 1984 and 1988.
In addition to the cars, the shop adjoining the museum had many parts, including a Fiero Cosworth Pontiac Super Duty 16-valve DOHC Fiero engine that was only installed on a prototype, as well as a 400-hp 4-cylinder engine. In fact, the shop contained parts that could help many Fieros survive for a long time. Much of that has now been washed away.
Owner Tim Evans isn't sure what to expect when he returns to the shop. The area is still flooded and last week it was expected that water levels could still rise two more metres before dropping back down.
The good news is that he was able to start and move some of the cars that had been parked on the street. Some will certainly be saved. Nevertheless, it’s a sad moment for the Fiero-lover and for fans of the model.