Well, then we got a ride to Fargo and a chance to get a bath. Rosalie had plans for everyone and Grandma was upset over what had happened. And I was tired - very tired but I could not rest. I got to watch a little T.V. there. But then they took Grandma Mae to the Good Samaritan Home in Arthur No. Dak.
I called FEMA on Tuesday evening 4/23/97 and got us both registered. But we didít know what to expect. Then I was taken to the Red Cross where I got some help to get new clothes. But the Salvation Army gave me some old clothes and some food. So that was set in the garage at Rosalieís.
Thursday Grandma Mae was taken to Good Samaritian Home in Arthur, N.D. but they went by way of Casselton, N.D. Mother said "she would stay here if I would stay here." So I said I would stay here.
But then Jackie and Rosalie got a place for me in Arthur. It was difficult since I did not have my albums.
Well on Saturday Morris drove me to Grand Forks and was it difficult to see. There was 2 or more feet of water in Grandma Maeís apartment. But, I found her memory book, and it was dry.
However all the furniture was ruined, and almost everything else. My albums (most of them) were up above the bookshelves. A few albums were damaged but there may be a way to save something on them if I can get them here.
You know its hard to believe that half a block of downtown is burned out, plus some other buildings. It looks like a war zone. Now they talk about a massive diking program. That means even more buildings gone from town. And whole new zones south and west of town to protect.
It is difficult to go through town and see all the debris...
Although Grand Forks is lucky no lives were lost. And it was fortunate the Air Force was here to help. No one else could have helped 51,000 people.
The writer of this letter lived in a FEMA trailer until October, 1998. He purchased the trailer from FEMA and is now living in another trailer park. He reluctantly sold his home to the city in the buyout program. His mother remains in a nursing home.
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Click on photos for larger version.
Debris from the
City Center Mall.
Photo: Alan Draves
North Fourth Street
Photo: Alan Draves