Thursday, April 26, 2007

10 Years After The Flood

It was 10 years ago this month that the flood of 1997 overflowed the Red River of the north and ravished a large percentage of North Dakota, Minnesota and Southern Manitoba. It was the most severe flood of the river since 1826 and it caused the evacuation of residents from many towns and cities alongside the Red. Most devastated by the flood waters was Grand Forks, North Dakota (75% evacuated) and its counterpart, East Grand Forks, Minnesota (100% evacuated), schools and universities were cancelled for the rest of the term as the water spread over 2 miles away from the river. Thousands of houses were flooded as water elevated higher than the dikes that were raised in the city, the river crested at 54.35 feet and because water drained so slowly, especially in low lying areas, many homeowners couldn't visit their properties until later in May.

One of the most memorable images that I remember was the fire that engulfed some downtown buildings in Grand Forks. The image of flames, fire and smoke contrasted with canoes paddling along the water filled streets was both sad and horrifying. In total there was over 2 billion dollars in damages and thousands of people relocated, believe it or not, no one was killed during this disaster.

One cool thing that occurred as a result of the flood was that Minneapolis legends, Soul Asylum played a concert for a joint high school prom for schools in Grand Forks. After The Flood: Live From The Grand Forks Prom, June 28, 1997 was recorded two months after the epic Red River flood in one of two hangars at nearby Grand Forks Air Force Base. Image having a band like Soul Asylum playing your high school prom, sure beats a DJ or some crappy tribute band! On this unique live album, Soul Asylum was at their height of popularity, and they blasted off a great set of hits and interesting cover tunes. Posted below are a few mp3's from the event.

After the Flood: Live At The Grand Forks Prom, June 28, 1997 (2004)

School's Out
The Tracks Of My Tears
Sexual Healing
To Sir With Love
Rhinestone Cowboy

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