The last handful of surplus temporary housing units are on their way out of Minot this week, more than two years after they arrived to serve residents displaced in the June 2011 flood.
Brian Hvinden, spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the last units are to be moved by Friday from the staging area at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds. Except for two donated units headed to a tribe in Nevada, the remaining units have been auctioned. Hvinden said some of the former FEMA units have gone to construction companies working in western North Dakota.
"It's one of the last visible reminders of our presence here. It's probably fitting that's it's come right before the end of the year," Hvinden said of the closure.
A FEMA crew hooks up a temporary housing unit to a cab to be moved to a new home after being stored in a staging area at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds. The unit is among the last to leave the staging area, which when emptied will end FEMA’s housing presence in Minot.
FEMA met the need for housing after the Souris River flood shortly before the end of 2011. FEMA provided just over 2,000 units, housing roughly 7,000 people. The number of units on private sites peaked at about 1,055 in November 2011 and the reminder of units were located in three group sites or in mobile home parks.
One group site remains as a mobile home park for about 160 units purchased by residents. Some purchased units are situated in mobile home parks, and the city is allowing a number of other units to remain on private lots until next June so residents can continue to repair their homes.
About five units remained in the staging area Tuesday. Two of the units have been used as FEMA offices.