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WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 23, 2012, 10:11 PM

One Year Later: One Minot House Shining Amongst the Destruction

Minot, ND (WDAY TV) - People in Minot were blind-sided at the news that they'd lose a third of the town in its worst flood ever. It's shocking to see what it still looks like 11 months later. It's a North Dakota city with some spots that look like a 3rd world country.

People in Minot were blind-sided at the news that they'd lose a third of the town in its worst flood ever. It's shocking to see what it still looks like 11 months later. It's a North Dakota city with some spots that look like a 3rd world country.

This is what's left behind, 11 months after the flood; a 10 block section near the river. It looks like the flood just ended. Debris lines the boulevards, and the smell of mold fills the air as some homes haven't even been touched since the water receded.

The mildew left behind a gives depressing faded color to almost every home here, but in the middle of it all shines a bright spot. It’s a little cookie cutter house, the only home with grass, flowers everywhere, even little apple cut outs in the shutters.

Patrice Mitchell – Brightest House on the Block: "I’m an elementary teacher. One of my coworkers calls it the diamond in the rough."

Patrice Mitchell had to gut her home. The siding did make though, and the secret to its shine? Scrubbing it with The Works toilet bowl cleaner.

Patrice Mitchell: "A dollar at the dollar store"

The outside of Patrice's home gets the blue ribbon, but it's the inside that is the envy of neighbors. From top to bottom she's finished remodeling.

Patrice went to work right after the water went down A lot of others waited over fear that it'd flood again this year. Now they all want to move back, but got caught in a vicious cycle of supply and demand, stuck on long wait lists for things like electricians and plumbers and will likely pay double or triple what Patrice did.

Patrice Mitchell: "You have to take chances in life and this was a chance and it was a good one."

The harsh reality for any of these homeowners who are wishing, waiting for more help than the 30,000 most got from FEMA, the city just adopted its future flood plan and out of the 4,100 homes damaged only 287 will be bought out.

Liz Vibeto – Patrice’s Neighbor: “People are just living their lives 10 blocks from us and have green grass and have flowers and their house is clean. Then you come down here and it's like, ‘ok we did get flooded,’ and it's dirty and it's almost like being in a war zone."

All of these people’s lives were flipped in an instant. With no flood warning, hardly anyone had flood insurance. It's cleaning out retirement funds, pushing other to take on debt, yet as we take a look at the images of then and now, people say they're inspired by homes like Patrice's and know when there day comes they'll appreciate it that much more.

Jane Abel: "Telling me visualize the new home that you'll have and so I keep trying to picture being down in my basement in the laundry room looking out my nice window or being upstairs in the kitchen cooking Christmas dinner for all my friends and so that's what I keep holding on to, but some days it's hard.”

Liz Vibeto: "Life is not fun when you're always angry or mad so you have to have some kind of positive spin to it just so you can make it through the day."

"People will call us up and still come over for a day and help and that's incredible and you need that you know even people coming by and saying what have you done and looked around to appreciate what you've done so you know that so somebody at least appreciates what you've done and knows how hard it is."

Patrice Mitchell: "You have to be positive and you know what there's a lot worse things in life there really are. I mean a home is what you make it."

There are still 1500 FEMA trailers spread across Minot, that people are still living in.

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