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Boiler Malfunction Forces Residents to Evacuate - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Boiler Malfunction Forces Residents to Evacuate

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Some in Moorhead are unable to go home and sleep in their own bed tonight after water destroyed their apartment.

That's after a water main break backed up a boiler, causing a flood in their building.

It happened just after midnight Saturday night, but thanks to the help of some fast-acting volunteers, those who were evacuated had a place to sleep.

Valley News Team's Hope Hanselman shows us who was there to step in when the disaster struck.

When knee-deep water ran through the first floor of this 18-unit apartment building, the Moorhead Fire Department showed to evacuate it, maintenance crews started to clean it up, but the American Red Cross looked the other way- at the parking lot in fact, where about 25 people watched their homes wash away.

"This event as are many disaster events took all of them completely by surprise," Sean Coffman, Disaster Evacuation Coordinator for the Red Cross, said. "Many of them were just getting ready for bed and next thing they knew there was water everywhere in their apartment."

As the water erased any traces of home-life, Red Cross volunteers began mapping out the next step.

"So, when this type of situation occurs at 10 o'clock and we're opening a shelter at 3 am, not only are our volunteers active and engaged in the process but we have spent time prepping to find those shelter locations," Coffman said.

In the middle of the night, they transformed an empty ballroom at MSUM into a temporary shelter for around 20 people.

Now families know the road to recovery may be long, but at least it won't be lonely.

"There was a lot of relief for many of the individuals, and they knew that at least for the next 72-hours, we're taken care of."

The Red Cross was up against an unusual challenge last night, with the North Dakota Girl's Class "B" Tournament going on, all the usual hotel rooms reserved for these disasters were filled.

That's why finding a shelter at MSUM came as an even greater relief.

 


 

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Several residents were forced to evacuate a Moorhead apartment building early this morning after a boiler malfunctioned and flooded the building.

The 18-unit apartment building is located at 1212 34th Street Circle.

A team of Red Cross volunteers are coordinating with city officials to assist those displaced in the form of food, shelter, and emotional support due to the flooding.

The Red Cross is opening a shelter for at least 20 people displaced by the evacuation. The Red Cross is working to determine the site for the shelter, but it will likely be on the campus of Minnesota State University Moorhead or a local school in the city.

Red Cross volunteers on the scene were members of the Chapter's Disaster Action Team, a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night.

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