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Published February 17, 2014, 06:30 PM

60 on 6: Ada rocked by blizzard, flood

Ada, MN (WDAY TV) - Most of us have spent recent weeks wondering if winter can be any more miserable - it can.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Ada, MN (WDAY TV) - Most of us have spent recent weeks wondering if winter can be any more miserable - it can.

Following the historic snows of 1997, the Valley was set-up for devastating floods. Tonight, as part of our 60 on 6, we bring you back to Ada, Minnesota. That's where a natural disaster emptied the town.

The warning bells were ominous on April 6th, 1997. A wicked ice storm swept through our region. Power lines went down; poles snapped and left like a row of dominos. Top it all off with a massive power outage, blizzard, and you had the recipe for disaster.

“Something else, high water fighting floods one day, this is amazing.”

…And that is exactly what happened in Ada, Minnesota. The Wild Rice and Marsh Rivers left their banks, and poured into the homes and streets of Ada; National Guard trucks pushing water and ice like a ship at sea. With no electricity, the people of Ada had no choice. They had to evacuate by way of tractors and front-end loaders.

Residents of nursing homes, patients in the hospital, all rescued. Boats went out to search. Even those hardy folk in the rural areas had to be evacuated. It was hard to imagine it could get any worse.

From the air, the devastation became all too clear. Everything was under water and power was out for 50,000. The blizzard and ice locked in the land. For the Visser farm family, an unthinkable, cruel reminder of helplessness - cattle trapped in water and ice.

Sadly, it was just the beginning. Fargo and Grand Forks were just starting their flood fight.

With help from FEMA, Ada replaced the town's only hospital and school, which were both lost to the flood.

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