The only FEMA DECLARED LEVEL 5 Disaster since Katrina ~
Recovery Warehouse ~ About
© 2011-2012 Recovery Warehouse Minot, ND
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For six weeks the people in our communities, Airmen from the Minot Air Force Base, the National Guard and the Corps of Engineers fought back the Souris River. Temporary dikes where built to the highest level the base would allow. When word came of the rainfall in Canada and the prognoses that the water would be seven feet higher than originally thought, there was nothing we could do to protect our communities.
Minot Flood 2011 Recovery Warehouse
The boat tour gave us a first had look of the amount of water that covered our valley. Homeowners got their first indication of the amount of damage their property endured. Flood water covered 20% of Minot, ND and took out rural farms and communities throughout the valley, leaving total devastation in its wake. It took two to eight weeks before residents could return to their homes and assess the damage. The flood waters stayed with us longer than any other flood in US history. Due to the swiftness of the water over 800 homes were knocked off their foundations. 3,000+ restorable homes had muck and mold filled basements, main floors and in some cases 2nd floors. The devastation was more than we imagined, numerous homeowners sat bewildered, the daunting task of clean-up appeared insurmountable. Then members of The Multi Agency Disaster Relief Team came to our community to “get the muck out”. They not only cleaned homes quickly, but also provided some light at the end of the tunnel for homeowners. The Multi Agency Disaster Relief Team is committed to the long term recovery from the Souris Valley 2011 Flood. They “got the muck out” and they have over 1,000 volunteer carpenters coming to the Souris Valley in the Spring. Our goal is to have the warehouse filled with building materials to "Let the Building Begin"! Homeowners of the Souris Valley, located in Northwestern North Dakota, are struggling after a 500 year flood occurred in July; 2011. The unprecedented flood waters left over 4,000 homes unlivable and displaced over 12,000 residents. Flood protection built after the 1969 flood was thought to protect many homes that incurred water up to their roof tops in 2011. Of the 4,000+ homes damaged, less than 400 had flood insurance. Although homeowners received FEMA disaster funds, many did not receive SBA low interest loans. They need our help to rebuild their homes and our neighborhoods. The Souris River flood of 2011 was the only level 5 disaster in the US that year, yet few are aware of magnitude of loss this disaster caused.
The Souris River ("Souris" translates to "Mouse") is a winding river that originates in Canada; makes a U turn SE of Minot, ND and returns to Canada. The Mouse River is normally narrow and shallow, but in the spring of 2011 Canada got 7” of rain on top of higher than normal precipitation. The Corps of Engineers held back the water to give Souris Valley residents time to evacuate, when the dam reservoirs reached maximum capacity, the gates where opened and a wall of water came down on us.
Minot and surrounding communities evacuated twice during the spring flood of 2011, nothing happened the first time; the second evacuation three weeks later was a different story. People where exhausted when the second mandatory evacuation was ordered. In three short days they had to empty their homes again. Many knew that they did not have the ability to clear out their homes. They where amazed when a flatbed backed into their driveway, complete with a team of movers. These movers went door to door to find evacuees who needed help, loaded up their belongings, moved them out and proceeded to the next person in need. These volunteer movers are members of
Mennonite Disaster Service Organization.
When the sirens sounded at 12:57 p.m. on June 22, 2011 an ominous silence overtook the valley... we waited, waited for the crest, waited for the water to recede, and waited for the ability to proceed. Citizens watched the Boat Tour and the Minot Flood Aerial Tour videos to get a glance at their homes.