Friday, June 24, 2011


Minot, North Dakota is flooding. The river over topped the levees and from all accounts, a sizeable portion of the town is destroyed. Minot is a town of about 36,000 and estimates say that as many as 12,000 residents have been displaced. Instapundit reports on a reader email.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of houses will be destroyed. I live on the South Hill, and thankfully, my home appears safe from the flooding. However, many of my friends and co-workers are not so fortunate. People have made their best efforts to move their belongings and prized possessions to higher ground, but everyday seems to bring worse news. 3 days in a row the predicted crest level has been higher than the previous day. Friends that two days ago thought they were safe found out yesterday that they were not. By the time this thing is over, perhaps a third of the town’s homes and businesses will be destroyed, along with the vital infrastructure that links the north hill and south hill neighborhoods.

The only silver lining to this disaster has been the response of the community. I am not from this part of the country (I hail from the East Coast) and nowhere that I have lived has ever faced this kind of adversity. But I would be proud to call this town my home. I have not seen one person whine or complain. I have not heard one hopeless person ask when the government or FEMA would rescue them. The town mobilized itself days ahead of the impending disaster and began planning for the worst; secondary levees and sandbag walls went up with breathtaking speed, and thousands of homes were evacuated without incident. Think of it as the anti-Katrina. Once the townspeople saw that their worst fears were about to be realized, and their homes and livelihoods destroyed, instead of giving up, they have only redoubled their efforts to save what can be saved. Their stoic determination in the face of absolute catastrophe amazes me.
As someone who has been flooded out of a house, I understand what these folks are going through. As I recall the experience, I never saw FEMA either, just local folks helping one another. FEMA has gotten better since the Katrina-Rita debacle, but you're still going to be on your own for three days.

1 comment:

Bob@thenest said...

I watch most news with a degree of detachment, but the situation in Minot is really getting to me.

Assigned there many years ago, I was in a position that had me interacting with the local community, including farmers spread far and wide. Now, I've had 23 addresses in my career -- I have NEVER known more friendly people who went so far out of their way to support our base personnel.

The community of Minot, and the farmers in the hundreds of square miles around it, were the epitome of "good folks."

I think we leave a part of ourselves wherever we've been assigned, but a larger than usual part of me is back there in Minot, and the flooding really hurts.

But if you want to see what "coming together" means, just watch their recovery. I KNOW it will happen and in a way that won't catch media attention because it will for the locals just be the way they are and the way they do things.