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Of course, Minot and North Dakota respond to storm devastation

Folks in Minot and North Dakota in general know a little bit about the dramatic, tragic impact of flood waters.

For that matter, from rail disasters spewing poison to deadly blizzards, North Dakotans are pretty familiar with disasters that threaten the lives of residents.

Perhaps that’s why it seems every time there is a natural disaster somewhere in the country, North Dakotan relief workers are frequently among the most zealous to pitch in and help. What a wonderful thing this says about our communities and neighbors.

As of this writing, a dramatically wet tropical storm is still working its way through the Carolinas. Florence might not have been a super high-wind experience and might have weakened prior to impact, but the flooding and storm surge are still killers. Furthermore, the flooding is expected to continue for days, causing havoc even after the storm proper moves on.

Already, North Dakotans are involved in relief efforts.

Allen and Carol Becker of Minot have joined 11 other North Dakota volunteers with the American Red Cross who are responding to the hurricane.

The Dakotas Region of the Red Cross sent 27 people last week and is waiting to see what happens with Hurricane Florence before sending additional volunteers, spokeswoman Gretchen Hjelmstad told Minot Daily News late last week. The Beckers left with an Emergency Response Vehicle, which is used in delivering food, water and relief supplies. Other volunteers are working to set up shelters and in feeding operations. The Dakotas Region also sent a couple of disaster mental health workers.

The Dakotas Region also has 14 volunteers on virtual deployment, Hjelmstad said. They are serving from their home locations in providing customer service by phone or computer to hurricane-affected residents seeking information or assistance.

A standard in our community, one about which we should all be proud, is the way we come together in the face of tremendous challenge. Little speaks higher of the character of a community.

What does speak higher of a community?

How about when help is active from and on route from our communities to communities in the midst of tragedy, literally, before the tide has receded.

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