The Roundup -

Western McKenzie County Residents Thankful For Continued Community Support After Spring Floods

 

September 4, 2019 | View PDF

The aftermath of the flood on the Schlothauer farm. (Photo submitted)

Kim and Casey Schlothauer are one of many rural farm families residing east of Fairview, ND affected by the flooding of the Yellowstone River earlier this spring. On their 780 acre farm the couple is raising a young family while supporting the production of wheat and beet crops for the year. "Wheat crop harvest is delayed but only due to recent rains," Kim states. "The farm ground in our area dried quickly after the flood waters receded in the spring not causing much delay in planting for us." Kim recalls the day her family had to evacuate their home due to the rapid rise of the flood waters. Like so many other families during that time, the Schlothauers rushed to save as much as they could, to move what they could from the lower sections of their house, to move their horses, donkeys and chickens and save enough supplies. "We had been tossing things into the truck as fast as possible, trying to save what we could. Within a short time we had to switch gears and toss our son into the truck and get to higher ground as the water became as swift as the river and we were afraid we'd lose him and be stuck."

When the water finally subsided, Kim and her family were shocked at the true devastation on their home and property. The water had risen much further than anticipated inside the house. Their hundred-year-old home, lovingly remodeled over the years, was so inundated with thick mud that not much could be saved. To Kim's great sadness her home had to be torn down and burned. The three surrounding buildings were damaged but savable and according to emergency coordinator information, all of the electrical needed to be replaced for safety on any remaining structures. Kim and her family were in for a lot of hard and costly work to rebuild their lives. "We were just in shock, thinking where do we start?" Kim stated, "but I knew that our community would be here for us and everyone who needed it, they always are."

It didn't take long for community members and local agencies to prove her right with the outpouring of support, supplies, temporary houses and funding for any affected families. There were several fundraisers held in the upcoming weeks. Karolin Jappe of the McKenzie County Emergency Manager stated, "There was over $143,000 quickly donated to the McKenzie County Flood Relief Fund and with support from the Ministerial Association much more was added over the next few months. A total of 17 checks were given out to those in need including nine families who had to demolish their homes." Karolin encourages people to continue to check with affected families who still need help as the restoration of lives after a flood takes a long time.

For Kim, Casey and their children, getting back to normal means living back on their property. Still waiting on their new home to be built they appreciate the help community members have given. Currently back on their property in a rig shack on loan from Hurley's Oilfield Service, Kim is grateful that she and her family can stay on the property now while they continue to rebuild. "Vess and his team have helped with so much of our cleanup here. We are fortunate to have so much help from so many individuals like that, but I think everyone affected has had people in the community who have given support, equipment and time to get restored as best as possible," Kim stated.

Harvey and Julie Asbeck's property is half a mile down from the Schlothauers and they were also affected by the spring floods. Julie agrees with Kim. "Our community is so good especially when there is a disaster." On August 15, the Asbecks' new home was set where the old one was torn down after the spring floods damaged it beyond repair.

Flooding on the Schlothauer farm. (Photo submitted)

The Schlothauers will patiently wait for their home to be delivered later this fall. In the meantime the family continues to slowly tackle the repair projects around their farm while working harvest and raising their family. "Those who have carpentry, electrical and basic construction skills are needed. I'm ready and willing to do the work needed but having someone from those trades to advise and or volunteer some time to help us do the repairs correctly would be a huge benefit," says Kim.

Anyone interested in making monetary contributions or if you have a skill you would donate, equipment or supplies, please contact Roberta Pierce of Zion Lutheran Church and/or Kelly Sloan of Fairview Alliance Church, representing the Fairview Ministerial Association. Any donations directly benefit area flood relief victims.

 

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