10 years later, past and present KMOT employees reflect on the flood

Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 3:03 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – The flood impacted everyone across the region, including those of us who work in news, and had to continue working on, despite the devastating waters.

During the flood, KMOT News Director and Anchor, Nick Dreyer had been working at the station for more than 10 years. The flood changed not only his professional life but his personal life as well.

“Lives would be changed forever and I realized at the point that broadcasting became really important because we are in a life-saving mode. It is our job to get information out the best we can to save lives,” said Dreyer.

Dreyer recalled being at the news desk for hours on end, trying to get the important information to viewers in the city.

“I don’t remember which day if it was cresting or we’d hit our top point, but I went on air and I didn’t realize I was on air for 14 hours straight. I didn’t eat, I didn’t go to the bathroom, I was on air for 14 hours straight. My boss finally came in and was like ‘Hey Nick, you need to get off-air and take a break,’” said Dreyer.

The news team worked 12-hour shifts at a time. KMOT’s Corey Serr recalled seeing his neighborhood being wiped out live on air.

“I didn’t actually see my house, but I saw how much water was in the neighborhood and that got kind of hard to watch because that was my first glimpse of looking at it live on TV, while it was going on. So that was weird, not how you want to find out about it or how you would like to see it,” said Serr.

Though not an employee at the station during 2011, reporter John Salling had grown up in the Magic City and saw his whole world change overnight.

“It was a time I grew in my faith, it was a time where I had to grow up a lot more than I had at that point. I had to mature a little quicker than I would have,” said Salling.

Salling and Serr’s homes were destroyed by the flood.

“It made you just realize what is important, yeah it’s stuff, but the people you are with and the people that care about you are more important than the stuff what it is anyway,” said Serr.

It had shaped their lives forever.

“It’s always in the back of your head like how much stuff can I actually fit in one carload or how do I keep it down so I can move myself from place to place as I need to be able to,” said Salling.

The flood closed and opened new chapters.

“Even though there is a lot of tough memories, there is also a lot of connections from the flood that will never be lost because when you go through something like this that connection is unbreakable,” said Dreyer.

Now they’re able to look back at the memories and know that they have made it past one of the worst natural disasters Minot has ever seen.

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