My grandma called me yesterday from Oregon. She had seen on the news that North Dakota was flooding and she wanted to make sure I was ok. After some reassurance that Fargo is far enough away from Minot that I won’t need to evacuate, I hung up the phone and turned on the news. I wasn’t surprised to see coverage of the Minot flooding; horrific photos of water spilling over the dikes and flooding entire neighborhoods. I was surprised however, when I realized that the coverage I was watching was not on our local news. Instead, it was live coverage from the national NBC nightly news. That was when it hit me, wow, this is a big deal.
I know that sounds naive. I know that sounds like I’ve been stuck in my “bubble”, unaware of what is going on around me. My lack of understanding of the severity of this event reminded me off my freshman year of college when Hurricane Katrina hit. My dad called me and said, “Hailey, have you been watching the news about the Hurricane?”
I replied with an idiotic response that I will never be able to live down in my family: “Hurricane? What hurricane?”
I’m not here to compare the two catastrophic natural disasters, and am proud to say that I do think time has since made me a lot more worldly. Either way, I was shocked when I realized just how bad the situation in Minot really was. Bad enough to make National News. With all the terrible stories that have been emerging of families evacuating, leaving everything behind, the glimmer of hope is the “we’ll get through this” attitude that is common throughout the Midwest and the fact that people across North Dakota, Minnesota, and other areas of the country are rushing to support Minot and the surrounding communities in every possible way they can.
I subscribe to the Fargo Beat, a local weekly e-mail newsletter that lists what is going on in the FM area in the upcoming week/weekend. I received their e-mail blast yesterday and at the top of the e-mail it said this:
“Reason #1,584 why The Fargo Beat loves North Dakota and Minnesota: An evacuee from Minot was being interviewed by the Today Show as he was packing up all of his belongings from his home in order to escape the impending flood. When asked how he felt about it he said, “We’re not like Joplin, Missouri or Alabama, we don’t have to take care of the injured or clean up the dead. We didn’t lose anybody. <knocks on wood> Hopefully.” Now THAT’S perspective. A guy moving everything out of a house he probably won’t come back to and he can still see the bigger picture. You just can’t beat the upbeat attitudes of North Dakotans and Minnesotans.”
This is just the attitude of people here and the reason why people can handle freezing winters, flooding springs, swarms of mosquitoes, small towns in the middle of no where, and the occasional jab from an outsider trying to mimic a Midwest accent. The people make this place great. They come together to help when someone else is in need, even an entire community. They make an entire state feel like a small town and complete strangers feel like neighbors.
For more information about the Minot Flooding, visit the Flood of West-Central North Dakota blog.