I realize this story may be getting old for those of you who are not part of the greater North Dakota family, but we are consumed by rising water in most of the state. 12,000 people in Minot alone have been evacuted from their homes. The Mouse is expected to crest several feet higher than it’s record flood from 1881. Surrounding communities are also in trouble.
Yet, even with thousands evacuated, only a couple of hundred people are having to reside in Red Cross shelters. Senator Conrad, in a news conference today, was very proud of the nature of North Dakotans; we not only are taking care of our friends and family, but those whom we have not yet met. All state employees have been released to come fight the flood, if they so choose, no matter where in the state they reside.
There are National Guardsmen who have been fighting floods across the state since early spring, sacrificing time with their families and keeping current with their jobs. I heard today that the ND National Guard has put in more than 35,000 man-days just fighting floods in North Dakota so far in 2011!
Airmen from the Minot Airforce Base (whose motto is “Only the Best Come North”) are also building dikes, controling traffic and opening their homes to displaced residents.
I have friends who have given many days sandbagging, trying to save friends’ homes, just to watch the water top the levees this morning. Yesterday alone they bagged 4 truckloads of sand (36,000 pounds of sand per load).
This is the water crossing a major road a couple of miles south of the Canadian border. We tried to see our cabin at the Mouse River Park tonight but the Sheriff’s Dept. is not letting us even peek over the edge of the hill.
Our son’s house is on the other side of the river, behind the elevator. It is diked, but we do not know if the water is up to it, as the roads are all closed in the area.