A side effect of the flood in Fargo-Moorhead has been the scattering of family members.
PJ Overvold of Pequot Lakes grew up in Fargo, N.D.
"I've been through the floods but not like this," she said Monday. Overvold's 88-year-old mother was evacuated Thursday from a Fargo nursing home and is now staying with her in Pequot Lakes. An uncle with Alzheimer's went to Detroit Lakes. And Overvold said a couple of women from her mother's nursing home who didn't have family to go to were sent to Hermantown where there were beds to accommodate them.
"It's really hard," Overvold said of moving the nursing home residents who often depend on routine. "It's a huge uprooting and change for them."
While images of sandbagging are widespread, Overvold said what many people don't see is how the lives of all the people are affected.
Overvold's sister lives in Fargo along with her nephew and nieces. Her sister evacuated to a lake home in Detroit Lakes. Her nephew's wife and children evacuated while he stayed to watch over their Island Park home.
Her nephew told Overvold the police came through his neighborhood at 3 a.m. Friday asking for sandbaggers. So at 3 a.m. people came out of their homes and walked to sandbag and shore up a trouble spot.
"You really see where everybody pulls together," Overvold said. "All these people at 3 o'clock in the morning to help sandbag."
Her nephew was there sandbagging until 3 p.m.
"Time will tell," Overvold said of the wait to see if the dikes and levees hold and how the new snowstorm affects the Red River. "It's very nerve-racking. It looks like a war zone. It's almost eerie. Hopefully, everything will hold and they'll get through the next couple days."
Along with helping those evacuated, the Brainerd area has been quick to send help to the Fargo-Moorhead area.
On Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation in Baxter sent a crew of 12 plus equipment to help Moorhead crews build a dike to keep I-94 open. When that project was completed, the Baxter crews headed into the city to help where needed.
Tom Wryk, MnDOT maintenance supervisor in Baxter, said four MnDOT crew members will remain in Moorhead for the time being and he is considering scheduling a rotating shift to go to Moorhead to help as the flooded Red River pushes north.
"I could be sending resources and equipment out there for several weeks, maybe longer. We just don't know," Wryk said.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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