The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with James Birkemeyer
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Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Jim Birkemeyer grew up in Comfrey, Minnesota. He studied radio and television in vo-tech school in Austin, Minnesota, and moved to Ada, Minnesota, in August 1987 when he purchased radio station KRJB (then KMCA). He and his wife, Bernadette, have three children. Birkemeyer acted as a public information officer during the flooding of Ada. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: The radio station and its format; slight flooding in the late 1980s; early concerns about flooding; expected floods along Marsh River; overland flooding; radio coverage; ice and snow storms taking out power lines; the struggle and need to continue radio broadcasting during the flood; evacuations; evacuating his wife and children to Borup, then Fargo; the National Guard; dealing with regional and national media (CNN, CBS, ABC); sleeping at the fire station; water in his basement; using generators to run the radio station; lack of flood insurance; frustrations with FEMA; support of the Small Business Administration (SBA); economic recovery; community work and organization of flood recovery; the people of Ada; frustrations with news media trying to get scoops and presenting not necessarily accurate information; concerns about the coming winter.
Quantity 2 hours sound cassette
38 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 85 minutes length
Creation Interviewee: Birkemeyer, James
Interviewer: Shoptaugh, Terry L.
Made in Moorhead, Clay County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in Moorhead, Clay County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 09/03/1997
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 57
Accession Number AV1999.66.5
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project'

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