A Lincoln Drive Resident's Story

by Gayle Higganbotham

Higganbotham home Higganbotham home
The Higganbotham's Lincoln Drive home after the flood.
Photos: Alan Draves. Click on either photo for a larger version.

Gayle Higganbotham of Lincoln Drive writes:

My family (myself, my husband, and five children) lived on Lincoln Drive. It has been a hard year, though we are slowly putting our lives back together. The water lines left on our roofs were reminders of just how high the water was, though some homes were totally submerged. In our 1 1/2 story home, we had 3 feet of water on our second floor. Totally hard to imagine, even after re-entering our home and finding all we had put upstairs "just-in-case" was also lost. We found tupperware lids stuck to the ceiling, our piano lying on its back in the livingroom and our huge chest freezer opened and flipped upside down, leaving its contents throughout the house. The sights and smells were overwhelming and will always stay in our memories! The greatest loss was to lose our entire neighborhood and schools--a way of life our family and friends can never return to. We are all moving on but we will never forget, we will never be the same people, and we will always miss Lincoln.

People from all over the nation have helped the people of Grand Forks, and for that we are all grateful. The part that hurts the most is that all the monies sent to this city don't seem to be going to the people in the hardest hit areas, as was ours. We fought hard to find a place for our family to live (which was difficult with a family this size) because we didn't want to be split between two FEMA trailers stuck out in the middle of the industrial park. We finally found a house (large but needs lots of work) and moved in in October. I guess it is so frustrating that people think everything is moving along and we are all being taken care of. The only real help we received from the government was our SBA loan, but it is only a loan and it didn't cover the entire cost of our new home. Our mortgage is now two times what our old one was, and our taxes are three times more. We are still paying taxes on our home on Lincoln Drive, as our buyout is still in limbo.

Update: The Higganbothams reluctantly accepted the city's buyout offer on the final day of the buyout program. Gayle writes...

You'd barely even know where our house was anymore when you drive down there, unless you see the Christmas wreath I hung on our front tree. It was sad, after driving down there regularly with camcorder in van, and after many calls to the city to find out when, I missed the tearing down of our home. I had a funny gut feeling one night when taking my daughter to Girl Scouts so drove down to see it had been torn down earlier in the day and all that was left was the front steps and a pile of rubble mostly buried in the hole. It was like a knife jabbing into me, I had waited so long to see it torn down, watched others in preparation for mine, knowing it was what I really needed to put a closing on this whole ordeal. I do though, try not to just dwell on it all and make the best of all we have. I feel it was like having someone close die and not being able to go to their funeral. But we have been extremely blessed since the flood with kindness from so many people, and I will never forget.

"Many waters cannot quench love. Neither can floods drown it."

----- Gayle Higganbotham, former Lincoln Drive resident (present resident in heart)

More Flood Photos from the Higganbothams

Go to Lincoln Drive page

(Above) Before the flood... Easter dinner on Lincoln Drive.

(Right) The same room after the flood.

Photos: Gayle Higganbotham

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This page maintained by Alan Draves.