I am currently with family in Burlington, ND, which is eight miles west of Minot (more photos at the WaPo link). For those that are not aware, Minot is currently being devastated by historic floods.
For some background:
Local CBS affiliate KXMC's amazing facebook page is here (you don't have to be a member of facebook to view the page). There are some great viewer photos on here that KX has been incorporating into their coverage. Here is the streaming page for KX, where Minot's own Josh Duhamel (of Transformers fame) has been following while in Moscow (he called into KX here), while using his celebrity to get our message out to a larger audience. KX has continually been putting up cameras on tops of buildings to give viewers more and more shots of their city. If you have some time, and are interested, I highly recommend you following along here.
The crew at KX has been on-air 24/7 for the past week or so, and they have been nothing short of perfect in their coverage. I cannot adequately put into words how great they have been.
The Minot Red Cross chapter's website is here, for those so inclined to help out. Please and thank you for your donations in advance.
Update - 7:15 CDT: WOW! I just heard on KX that our little town of Burlington, all 1,100 of us -- with outside volunteers, of course -- filled over 650,000 ... 650 freakin thousand! ... sandbags in the past week or so. Just wow.
Photos -- taken with my phone, so apologies in advance if they're not the best quality --below...
This is the street my family lived on when I was growing up:
Water creeping up on a church:
The diamond in the center of the picture is the peak of an entry way:
Putting in a boat on the street I grew up on:
I couldn't get any closer, so this is zoomed pretty far. I couldn't tell if this was a trailer or a camper:
An outdoor covered garage:
Update from the NYT, per a reminder from Keith930 in the comments:
MINOT, N.D. — Moving from their hillside condominium to a just-built house near the meandering waters of the Souris River, the Rasmussens, like so many of their neighbors, never even contemplated buying federal flood insurance.
After all, the once flood-prone river — known locally as the Mouse, after its French name — had seemingly been tamed by public works projects that reshaped the channel, raised the banks and controlled the flow of water.
When the federal government lifted a requirement a decade ago that low-lying valley homes have flood insurance, most residents stopped buying it.
But another problem facing residents of Minot is a consequence not of failing to control the river but of decades of doing so successfully: just one in 10 homes in the flood zone still have flood insurance.
“Some citizens have been lulled into a false sense of security because we have had such good results,” said Dean Frantsvog, the City Council president.
Michael Bart, chief of engineering and construction for the St. Paul District of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, said nobody could have anticipated a flood of this magnitude, with water levels almost six times what the system was designed to take.
“The system was working,” he said. “This is a Noah flood. As in big, large, historic.”
Gov. Jack Dalrymple said, “It will change the way people manage water in this river valley from now on.”
The last time a major flood hit this city, North Dakota’s fourth largest, was in 1969, and the widespread damage prompted the construction of new flood protection systems along the Souris, which sends its waters in a brief loop through North Dakota before returning to Canada. The river channel was made wider, deeper and straighter. The banks were raised. And a series of new dams along the river in both Canada and the United States allowed for more control of water flow.
In 2000, federal officials revised the boundaries of flood maps to show a river that — even in the unlikely event of a 100-year flood — was expected to largely remain inside its banks.