Minot North Dakota Experiencing Disastrous Flood
Normally when I post to the station web sites I try to find things that are interesting and funny, but this one hits really close to home. By that, I mean that it IS hitting my home. Minot, North Dakota, a community of around 40,000, is experiencing the worst flooding they’ve seen in decades, and they’ve already surpassed their worst flooding on record from 130 years ago. To make matters worse, the Souris River hasn’t even crested yet.
Minot is situated in a valley, and though the city has made dramatic improvements to the levee system since their last big flood in 1969, those improvements can’t hold back the ocean of water that must go through the city over the next few days. The flooding is a result of heavy snow over the winter, record rainfall in Canada, and added rain this summer. The current forecast calls for more rain over the next few days.
Over 12,000 people have been displaced, and watching the water come in has been devastating. Today I spoke with June Vetter, a friend of mine in Minot. She said that she thought there would be more time and that maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as what they predicted. “I thought I might get some more things out of my house, but when I went home yesterday during lunch to take a few more things out, the water was already there.” June will lose almost everything, and she’s not alone.
While many residents cleared their homes of everything including water heaters and furnaces, there are likely countless people who kept faith in the levees. Even worse, most residents had faith that a flood of this magnitude would never take place. Only about 1 out of 10 people in the flood zone have flood insurance. Because the water is expected to remain in place for nearly two weeks after the crest, most homes and businesses will be condemned. That’s about 4,000 structures.
Though the damage estimates will soar, I have to give this much to my home town – the people really know how to rally around one another to help out. I’ve been following flood information for weeks on Facebook, and pages created about the flood have been inundated with offers of help. People have offered free daycare, help moving or sandbagging, food for those fighting the flood, and any other assistance that’s been needed. I give heartfelt thanks to the National Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, Minot Air Force Base, and all of the city workers, contractors, and civilians who have helped out.
Here’s the bottom line. Nobody thinks it’s going to happen to them. Yet for the residents of Minot, it’s actually happening this time. They need all the prayers and help they can get. As a result, I’m asking you, if you are able, to donate to the Red Cross in Minot. Anything helps.
The photos that I’ve posted here, while terrible to see, are only a fraction of what is to come and what is happening around the city at this moment. As a former resident who still considers Minot to be my home, I’m saddened to hear the stories of those I love being displaced by this tragedy. Please keep Minot in your thoughts.