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The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project

Breckenridge, Minnesota, April 15, 1997.

32 INTERVIEWS

DATE: 1997-1998

INTERVIEWER: Terry Shoptaugh

The Oral History Project was jointly conceived by staff at the Minnesota Historical Society and the Northwest Minnesota Historical Center to document the 1997 flood and its effects on the people living in the Minnesota communities along the Red River of the North. Although floods have occurred with some regularity along the Red River (with major flooding in 1897, 1943, 1969, and 1979) the flooding in April 1997 was unprecedented. Several communities were inundated by flood waters, suffering damage that has run to billions of dollars in loses to property and income. Thousands of residents in Ada, Breckenridge, East Grand Forks, and other towns were forced to evacuate their homes because of high water. Some homes were totally destroyed, others were badly damaged.

Given the scale of the flood, it would be impossible to interview everyone affected by it. Instead, this project has focused on a selection of narrators who discuss their individual experiences during the events of April 1997. These individuals include government officials and private citizens, including home and business owners. Also represented are specialists in weather forecasting, insurance, and psychological counseling. As a result, the interviews provide detailed discussions of the events during the flooding, of the recovery efforts since the waters receded, and of the issues that have been raised in planning for confronting future flooding in the Valley.

Taken together, these interviews, when used with more traditional evidence compiled to document the 1997 flood, should provide researchers with an excellent picture of how this natural disaster altered both community development and individual lives in the Red River Valley of the North.

LENGTH OF INTERVIEWS: 43 hours 38 minutes

TRANSCRIPTS: 1,174 pages

The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Sheryl Austin, Shari LaBine, and Bonnie Upham
Sheryl Austin, Shari LaBine & Bonnie Upham
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Mary Barrett
Mary Barrett
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Timothy Bauer
Timothy Bauer
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Timothy Bertschi
Timothy Bertschi
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with James Birkemeyer
James Birkemeyer
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Michelle Buck and Amber Waltman
Michelle Buck & Amber Waltman
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Craig Buckalew
Craig Buckalew
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Greg Dahl
Greg Dahl
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Pamela Dohman
Pamela Dohman
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Mary Ann Dunlevy
Mary Ann Dunlevy
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Lynne Ebner
Lynne Ebner
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Jon Evert
Jon Evert
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Greg Holmvik
Greg Holmvik
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Laurie Holtman and Susan Weber
Laurie Holtman & Susan Weber
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Lincoln Huesby
Lincoln Huesby
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Paul Jurgens
Paul Jurgens
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Karen Knighton
Karen Knighton
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Neoma Laken
Neoma Laken
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Joel Manske
Joel Manske
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Robert Martin
Robert Martin
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Steve Mikkelson
Steve Mikkelson
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Annette Montplaisir
Annette Montplaisir
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Wendy Pearson
Wendy Pearson
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Ron Pederson and John Stumpf
Ron Pederson & John Stumpf
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Herb Reimer
Herb Reimer
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with William Schwandt
William Schwandt
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Greg Stennes
Greg Stennes
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Audrey Thomas
Audrey Thomas
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Myron Thronson and Kevin Ruud
Myron Thronson & Kevin Ruud
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Nanci Tobias
Nanci Tobias
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Randy Tobias
Randy Tobias
The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Wanda and Ken Visser
Wanda & Ken Visser