United Day Nursery
Flood of 1997

Chapter One

The Flood

Purple Corner
The Purple Corner in the Spectrum - by Lolly

On Friday, April 18, 1997, United Day Nursery was open with a skeleton crew. The children knew something was happening in the city. They were building dikes in the sand table.

On this day, the Lincoln Drive neighborhood was lost to the flood as water poured over the dikes and flowed down the streets. By the end of the day, some houses were flooded up to the second floor. Across the river, the Point in East Grand Forks was flooded that afternoon. During that night and the following morning, the river claimed neighborhood after neighborhood, and most residents were evacuated. Saturday afternoon, fire broke out in the Security Building downtown. This fire would destroy or damage 11 downtown buildings.

The flood reached United Lutheran Church early Saturday morning. Pastor Timothy Johnson, Youth Director Leon Philpot, and several volunteers struggled in vain to save the church, but the water poured in the basement windows, and they were forced to evacuate. The Spectrum classroom, kitchen, and lunchroom area were filled with 9 feet of dirty flood water.

United Day Nursery Director Suzie Thorson writes...

We were evacuated from our home at 4:00 AM on April 19th. My son and his family, my daughter and her family, my husband Lyle, and I went to my sister, Harriet, in Gilby, North Dakota. We thought it would be for a couple of days. It ended up that we were there exactly 4 weeks. My sister was an absolute SAINT. The four families took turns providing the evening meal. Whoever was in charge provided the groceries, cooked and served the meal. It worked out very good and we enjoyed each other's company.

Go to Chapter Two...

How did you hear about what was going on with United Day Nursery?

United Day Nursery staff members write...

Go to Chapter Two...

Articles on other sites about United Lutheran Church in the flood...

We Will Be With You (The Lutheran)
Beyond the Rainbow (The Lutheran)
Flooded Homes, Faithful Hearts (Concordia Alumni News Magazine)
United Lutheran Church after the flood

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United Lutheran in the flood - by Jana

Copyright © United Day Nursery 1998

This page maintained by Alan Draves.