- Fred the Flood - Part I
- Fred the Flood - Part II
- Fred the Flood - Part III
- Fred the Flood - Blog Posts
This spring and summer, North Dakota has been one soggy state… In particular, my hometown of Minot was hit with a catastrophic flood that devastated over 4,000 homes in addition to parks, businesses, churches, and a handful of schools. The total cost of estimated damages for Minot and surrounding communities is somewhere around one billion dollars. It’s mind blowing.
I tell you that it looks like a war zone in the Minot valley. Homes are in the process of being gutted, their innards are heaped onto the curbs, and there are even homes stripped of their siding so that all that remains are some 2x4’s and a roof. These structures, once sanctuaries, will stay empty shells through the cold winter. And once lovely and lively neighborhoods now resemble ghost towns and will remain that way because we don’t know what is going to happen yet… Many people do not want to reinvest in their homes at this point because too many important questions remain unanswered, such as: Will it flood again next year? Will my house be bought out by the government in a year and a half?
My home drowned. My parents’ home drowned. As did the homes of many friends. And those whose homes did not drown are more than likely housing the evacuees or their garages are at the very least plum full with the belongings of the homeless. In one way or another, we are all affected and our lives are in some kind of disarray.
There is never a good time for a natural disaster, but in our town Fred the Flood (as I named it) could not have had worse timing. Summer is short and the past few years we have had truly brutal winters and this coming winter we are projected to beat last year’s record snow fall. Additionally, there is a housing crisis in Minot due to an oil boom. Prior to the flood it was next to impossible to book a hotel room or rent an apartment. So now we have thousands of people trying to figure out where they will find a roof to keep over their head, or waiting for a FEMA trailer, and trying to settle into a new kind of normal. But I’m not so sure normal exists…only normal reactions to abnormal conditions.
FEMA representatives have told people of Minot that they cannot believe the media isn’t covering this and that as far as damage to property goes, the Minot Flood of 2011 is worse than the damage Hurricane Katrina caused. We didn’t lose lives in the flood and yet…we did. While we are beyond grateful that the flood did not take any lives unlike Hurricane Katrina, we grieve the loss of our homes—our refuges—and are trying to knit the bits and pieces of our lives back together that the flood waters did not wash away. We are hurting. And we need help.
Recovering from this flood will take years. The journey towards a revitalized Minot will be long and hard and scary. But people are good and God is greater than all of this heartache. We must not forget that.
You have the power to help the people of Minot! The help we need comes in the form of prayers, of spreading the word about this historic flood, and through donations. Below I have listed some of the ways you can contribute to helping Minot recover.
- Minot Public Schools
- Minot Red Cross
- Minot Area Community Foundation
- The Salvation Army Minot Worship and Service Center
- Lutheran Disaster Response
- All Hands
Thank you for taking the time to learn a bit about the 2011 Minot Flood and thank you for any and all help! God’s blessings.
“The thought of my pain, my homelessness, is bitter poison. I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed. Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue. Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.”