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‘It just kept coming up’: Middle River residents facing major flooding

Published: May. 22, 2022 at 9:36 PM CDT
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MIDDLE RIVER, M.N. (Valley News Live) - The residents in Middle River, MN, continue to face major flooding in northwest Minnesota. Some of the residents have to resort to using boats to get around flooded farmlands and roadways.

“Well after the spring melt I thought that everything was going to be alright then it just kept coming up.” said Robert Davidson, a Middle River resident.

Davidson’s neighbors, Kimmer Lian and Michael Mooney, are cut off from the road system because of the floodwaters. According to Lian, who has lived there for the past 13 years, this is the worst flooding in the area that she has ever seen.

“I don’t have flood insurance,” said Lian. “They just said six months ago we were in a flood plain and said you should get it. Well, it was quite a bit of money added onto my insurance so it didn’t happen. We’re dealing what we have, luckily we still have a home.”

All around their property, the water level is high and has caused a lot of damage. The floodwaters reach up to the porch, but thankfully it hasn’t breached the house itself. According to Mooney, there is going to be a lot of work to sort through all of the destruction caused by the flood. However, in the end he is happy the home is still livable.

“Very important. It’s nice to know that you got a home.” said Mooney.

For the couple, they have to use a boat to get to the roadways to head to work. They still have electricity in the home and some other utilities. Unfortunately, they don’t have use of water because the floodwaters have enveloped the septic tank.

“We’re just getting by, roughing it, can’t do much more than that,” said Lian. “Again, we don’t have bathroom facilities, but we have power, TV, something to keep us occupied while this is going on. Still just trying to smile through it.”

Pennington and Marshall Counties are facing some of the worst flooding the area has seen since 1997. Eric Beitel, the Pennington County Emergency Management Director, said the impacts from the flooding is far reaching. Hitting many industries, especially the farmers who haven’t been able to farm their lands.

“I talk with a lot of farmers everyday and my heart really pours out to them, said Beitel. “I ask them to keep faith and find the good in this but the farmers aren’t getting into their fields and I understand the repercussions that has.”

The hope now is the residents bounce back after being hit by the horrible floodwaters. According to Beitel, FEMA and Minnesota state officials will be visiting the area on May 24 to assess the damages.

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