Flood water from the overflowing Souris river spreads out across the outskirts of Minot, N.D. on June 23, 2011. Roughly 12,000 residents were evacuated from their homes due to the flood waters which reached a record level of 1,561.7 ft. above sea level which is just over six feet higher than the previous record and four feet higher than the crest level of the great flood the city suffered in 1969.
After evacuating from their homes to an emergency shelter at the Municipal Auditoriumfor the second time in just over a month, from right, Grayson Evenson, Vickie Gilliham, Brett Guenthner, Gennevieve Hicks and Jean Shulze watch a live helicopter flyover of thier flooded neighborhoods caused by the overflowing Souris river at a emergency shelter at the Municipal Auditorium in Minot, N.D. on June 22, 2011.
Residents of Burlington, N.D. rush to make sandbags at City Hall with the help of an active duty Air Force squadron in Burlington, N.D. on June 23, 2011. The volunteers were evacuated a little under twenty minutes later but the sandbags were given to homeowners to use as a last line of defense while contractors attempted to complete a secondary dike after the first was breached by the Souris river.
A National Guardman keeps watch over the entrance to a flooded neighborhood in Minot, N.D. on June 25, 2011.
Co-owner of The Blue Rider, a bar housed in the cities’ oldest operating wood-frame structure, Becky Piehl, 68, tries to decide what to do with a painting by renowned American painter Fritz Scholder “The Blue Rider” that is painted directly on the wall of the bar during flood evacuations in Minot, N.D. on June 24, 2011. One individual suggested trying to cut the section of the wall out to save the painting that Piehl said was likely worth more than the building.
The rain-soaked carcass of a bird lies on the roof of a flood convenience store in downtown Minot on June 24, 2011.
A Chevrolet pickup truck is sandwiched between two homes in a mobile home park in Burlington, N.D. on Aug. 10, 2011. The homes were moved by the strong currents of the flood waters from the Souris river that breached both the first and secondary emergency dikes that were constructed in attempt to save the majority of the town from flooding.
After flood waters from the Souris river flooded their neighborhood and submerged their house for close to two weeks, the Roise family decided to do as much of the work to rebuild their house by themselves as they could, including stripping the house of all its insulation and siding, removing any rotten wood from the frame and replacing all the electrical wiring.
Like many Minot residents, Bob Miller moved all his possessions to the top floor of his home and elevated what he could when he was ordered to evacuate due to expected flood waters from the Souris river in late June, but when flood waters ended up being close to triple original estimates and too much for city levees to hold, Miller’s neighborhood was submerged and he lost everything except for a few water damaged photos and other personal belongings. Miller said there are still some days where the realization of loss is overwhelming and it feels necessary to cry but he also considers the flood the defining moment of his life and an opportunity to focus his time on rebuilding and helping those in need instead of mourning lost material possessions.