WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 29, 2012, 09:16 PM

A look back at our favorite stories: Overcoming the Minot flood

Minot, ND (WDAY TV) -- As we look back at our most popular stories from 2012, a trip to Minot sticks out.

Minot, ND (WDAY TV) -- As we look back at our most popular stories from 2012, a trip to Minot sticks out.

We went there nearly a year after that devastating 2011 summer flood, and the destruction that remained was shocking, but the uplifting attitude and spirit of those effected shined through.

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, the smell of mold fills the air as some homes haven't even been touched since the water receded.

"it was in my attic, 11 feet for 5 weeks."

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

"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, she says scrubbing it with "the works toilet bowl cleaner."

"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.

"We rebuilt it, it looks pretty much the same."

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.

"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-grand most got from FEMA, the city just adopted its future flood plan and out of the 41-hundred homes damaged only 287 will be bought out.

Ppeople are just living their lives 10 blocks from us and have green grass and have flowers and their house is clean and 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 peoples 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.

"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."

"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."

"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."