In Flooded Minot, Human Kindness Is Unsinkable

Evacuees pitch in to help neighbors
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2011 11:57 AM CDT
Lutheran ministers Mike and Kari Pancoast, evacuated from the Souris River flood zone, kiss as Mike heads out to help another pastor evacuate, Saturday, June 25, 2011, in Minot.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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(Newser) – As the Souris River was set to peak today, North Dakotans weren't exactly wallowing in the misery of the worst flooding in memory—rather, they were rolling up their sleeves and doing whatever they could to help their neighbors. Evacuees helped others evacuate, others moved friends' belongings to safety, and so many opened their homes to displaced neighbors that only a few hundred of the 11,000 displaced showed up at shelters. "It's disheartening," one displaced pastor who's been pitching in tells the AP. "But I'm grateful that I have a place to go and I feel for people who are worse off than I am."

"For the rest of the country, that is kind of mind-boggling. But ... that's how we are in North Dakota," says Sen. John Hoeven. One woman opened her camper to a displaced family rather than rent it, saying, "God just had better plans for our camper." Another man let several friends stuff his garage with their possessions. "I've been really impressed with how people in this community are helping each other, so I wanted to do my part," he said.

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