It was now or never for Todd Westmeyer.
After spending an hour driving from North Hill to the south side of Minot to get to work Monday morning, he had a window during his lunch break to grab his mail.
Westmeyer was one of many displaced Minot residents who slowly sifted through a lengthy line at the Minot Post Office to claim their backlog of mail.
Chris Bieri/MDN • Minot post office employee Dick Hauser delivers a cache of mail to Minot resident Todd Westmeyer on Monday. Westmeyer was one of many displaced residents who battled long lines to pick up the backlog of mail that had accumulated since the beginning of the flood.
It took Westmeyer about 25 minutes before he finally was able to grab his cache of mail, which had been building up since last Tuesday.
"I didn't have any choice," he said with a sarcastic grin. "I have to go back to work. It's all tons of funs. It's taking about 10 times as long to do everything."
The line began to move quicker as the day progressed, but its length still scared off some residents who made it to the door before surveying the situation and deciding to turn around.
Michelle Vanwinkle had to wait a little longer than most to get her mail. She maneuvered through the line in just 10 minutes, but the special circumstances of her pick up meant her mail was a little tougher to find.
She was picking up the postal items for Detailed by Design, a business located at 600-27th St. SE. Their box would likely now be under water if it hadn't been removed.
"I'm in a rural route so it's an independent carrier," she said. "When I was up here Saturday, the box was gone and they weren't sure if the independent carrier had come and got it, so it's taken them a little while to locate the mail. But they found it."
The line to pick up mail stretched throughout the entire width of the post office.
"It wasn't too bad," said Herb Wanner. "It took about 25 minutes. I let a few people ahead because I knew they were workers and I'm retired."
Wanner lives in Chaparral, just east of Minot, which was still dry as of Monday.
He said the wait was a minor inconvenience, considering what other valley residents have gone through in the last week.
"It wasn't too bad, but I feel bad for the people who are in much worse shape," he said.