Craig Fugate, Administer of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, last week rejected North Dakota's application for assistance to individual homeowners. In a letter to ND Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Fugate stated that “the damage to the residences from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to warrant the implementation of Individual Assistance…”
Well, Fugate, tell THAT to the owner of this home in Burleigh County outside of Bismarck. Yesterday afternoon the Hogue Island residence was attacked by the Missouri River - photo above, and then devoured - photo below. (This is the first home in our area claimed by bank erosion.)
These photos, and also the video footage from a Black Hawk helicopter that happened to be flying overhead, were shocking to all of us here in North Dakota and across the country.
And needless to say, Dalrymple was shocked by FEMA's response. He found it "hard to believe that FEMA does not see the destructive effects of flooding on citizens in North Dakota." (He is appealing the decision.) The governor was being way more polite than I would have been. I would have prefaced his statement with, "You morons, ....."
Until I saw these pictures, my attention yesterday was turned away from the Missouri River, where the flood fight inside the cities of Bismarck-Mandan is stabilized and the dikes are holding, to Minot, ND, where, unfortunately, the situation is reversed and the news is very, very dire.
This video from last night's NBC Nightly News tells it all:
National Guard making sure everyone is
evacuated from their Minot homes
evacuated from their Minot homes
On Tuesday, about 11,000 residents (1/4 of the city's population) were told they had to be out of their homes by 6 p.m. Wednesday. But at 12:57 p.m. yesterday, the river - called the Souris in Canada where it originates, and the Mouse in the US - roared. The roar took the form of eerie sirens wailing across the entire city, as people were told they had to GET OUT NOW. Levees had been breached and water was going over some dikes.
Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman could not bring himself to admit that the valiant battle to save the city was lost. However, he did say that "There's nothing more we can do."
The flood is predicted to be worse than the devastating 1969 flood, with the water expected to rise 8 to 9 feet higher than it was back then!
Little boy and his Mom in Minot:
Boy: "Where is the grass?"
Mom: "It's gone."
Boy: "Who took it?"
Mom: "The River took it."
Yes, The River, the Mouse That Roared took it. Minot may not be as big as Tuscaloosa, AL, or Joplin, MO, but this is a major disaster. Yesterday actor Josh Duhamel was urging people to pray for the people of his hometown and to lend assistance through the American Red Cross. Said Duhamel, "My sister’s gonna lose her house… My junior high, my favorite pizza place, the university I went to are all gonna be underwater.”
I echo Duhamel's wishes and prayers for Minot residents (and for the wildlife - see below).
Click on this photo to enlarge. That's DEER on the porch
trying to escape flood waters in Apple Valley near Minot.
Added at 1:30 pm Thursday: Catastrophic breaking news from Minot: A crest much earlier than expected, and much higher - four more feet of water than previously forecast.