Minot Flood Update (7-12-11)

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ChristaM's picture
Joined: 01/11/04
Posts: 713
Minot Flood Update (7-12-11)

Hello All:

On July 6th, my parents were allowed back to their house for assessing damages and starting the clean up process (they are allowed at the house during only certain times of the day). While the secondary dike held back the river from completely flooding their area, the high water table resulted in seepage entering the basement (the main floor stayed dry). So far, they have pumped out about 2.5-3 feet of water. In addition, they had a sewer plug pop out as a result of the high pressure (originally thought there was a broken pipe – but that may not be the case); so, they had some sewage leak to deal with as well. They even found a fish in the water!

While the river level is now at 1554.47 (remember flood stage is 1549 and the record peak was 1561.72 set on June 26th), they continue to deal with seepage caused by the high water tables and heavy rains that continue to roll through the city. For the foreseeable future, they will need to continue use of the water pumps. The basement has been cleaned out of the relatively few items they left behind and the drywall and wood paneling have been tore out. The process of cleaning and sanitizing has begun.

With all that having been said, they have still been part of the lucky few. Here are some of the flood statistics: Recovery estimates are $250-300M; roughly 20% of the city was damaged. 12,000 people are displaced; 4100 homes damaged with 3100+ of those with severe damage (2400 with extensive damage and 805 with complete damage). In addition, the state fair which is held in Minot and is a large revenue generator, has had to be cancelled.



My Aunt / Uncle still have not been allowed back to their home (too much water in the area). Estimates, based on pictures of the area, are that the water has reached their second floor and likely reached at least to the height of their kitchen counters. We have not been given official word, but expect their home to be one of those deemed to be condemned.

Thank you for all the kind words of encouragement and thoughts and prayers you have provided!

Terrapin's picture
Joined: 08/21/05
Posts: 713

Thanks for the update. I am glad to hear that your parents have been allowed to start repairing the damage to their home. I am hoping for the best for your aunt and uncle!

wishing4agirl's picture
Joined: 09/11/03
Posts: 917

Thank so much for the continued updates. I'm so happy your parents were let back in and can start the clean up process. But I'm so sorry to your aunt and uncle. I KNOW I asked this before, but I have a HORRID memory (and that is an understatement) but did they have insurance? Where are they staying in the meantime? Keeping them in my prayers.

ChristaM's picture
Joined: 01/11/04
Posts: 713

@Angela:

I'm not sure if my aunt/uncle had or were required to have flood insurance or not. My parents did not have flood insurance; long story! But, to summarize, they did when they bought the home 20 yrs ago. About 17 yrs ago, dams were built in Canada and North Dakota (There were 3 or 4 built in different areas) that rezoned the flood plain. At that time, my parents got a letter from the mortgage company that said they no longer had to have flood insurance because they were no longer part of the area inside the flood plain. Essentially, once the dams were built it was believed that they would no longer ever flood.

Fast forward -- this past winter had high levels of snow and all spring/summer they have been getting lots of rain. This raised the levels of the water inside the dams to the point that there was no choice but to release at higher/faster levels than normal in order to maintain the structural integrity of the dams. This is what caused the river to flood.

My parents, my sister and the dog are all staying with family friends. My Aunt got too stressed out and flew to Arizona to stay with my cousin. My Uncle has until July 31 to stay at my Grandpa's assisted living facility. My parents just bought a new house (haven't closed on it yet) -- on a hill, out of the valley of the river -- Dad says he's too old to deal with this again! So, once their current house is cleaned/repaired, the initial plan is that my Aunt/Uncle will move in until they decide their long term plans.

My parents/sister and Aunt/Uncle have their household possessions stored at 6 to 7 different places (I lost count! Family, friends, my mom is a teacher and some stuff is at the school she teaches at, etc). So, I'm sure they would like to get back to some sort of "normal". They are grateful for the fact that they lost relatively few things that they wish they hadn't (just ran out of time to move things out when the city moved up the evacuation date). But, there are families who lost everything.

wishing4agirl's picture
Joined: 09/11/03
Posts: 917

That is so hard. I'm glad your parents are buying a new house. I'm so sorry for your aunt and uncle. I would be stressed beyond belief too. I'll be keeping them in my prayers that the house gets the repairs done so your aunt and uncle can move in to it soon.

It seems to be that because they changed it the people who changed it should be responsible. I hope FEMA or one of those agency's will help both your aunt and uncle and your parents and sister out and get them some relief from the cost.

It breaks my heart you family had to go through this. Thanks again for the update on them.