WILLISTON, N.D. - The victims of flooding that happened more than two months ago in McKenzie County are still trying to get back on their feet, with some help from a flood relief fund made up entirely of donations from the community.
On Friday, ONEOK pledged $100,000 to help families recover. The money will be distributed via applications sent through Lutheran Social Services. Flooding in McKenzie County this year destroyed nine homes and caused major damage in another twelve.
Karolin Jappe McKenzie County Emergency Manager said the damage is costly. “Of those families who are tearing down their house or burning down their house as we speak, some are ready to retire. They are going to have a brand new mortgage. Each case is different; there is a young family with a little boy... They just put $90,000 into their house last year, and they are going to have two mortgages when this is all said and done.”
Jappe says nobody had flood insurance, the area does not quality for FEMA assistance, and the state considers it a low flood risk area, since it had not flooded like this in several decades.
“If you have it in your heart to give to this fund, it sure would be greatly appreciated, because like I said, there is no government help to give. That's one of the downfalls of living in rural America. If you don't have twenty-five homes that are completely destroyed, you don't qualify,” said Jappe.
Jappe says the flood-relief fund has more than $271,000, and every penny will go toward victims. If you or your company would like to donate, you can message the McKenzie County Emergency Management Facebook Page.