My Flood Story

by Suzie Thorson, Retired Director, United Day Nursery

We were evacuated from our home at 4:00 AM on April 19th. My son and his family, my daughter and her family, my husband Lyle, and I went to my sister, Harriet, in Gilby, North Dakota. We thought it would be for a couple of days. It ended up that we were there exactly 4 weeks. My sister was an absolute SAINT. The four families took turns providing the evening meal. Whoever was in charge provided the groceries, cooked and served the meal. It worked out very good and we enjoyed each other's company.

A couple of days after arriving at Harriet's, I started thinking - What should I be doing about United Day Nursery? How bad is the church? How can I get a hold of Board members? How can I get a hold of staff? How? How? How? After a couple more days of this kind of thinking, Chris (Assistant Director) and I talked about it, and I tried to get in touch with some Board members. It didn't work. Chris and I then called the Grand Forks Herald, the TV stations, and the radio stations asking Board members to call me at Gilby. It worked. Several members called, and I asked them, if possible, to come to a Board meeting on Thursday, May 1st. at the Village Inn (one of the very few restaurants open at that time) to make some decisions about United Day Nursery's future.

In the meantime, I called Dr. Mark Sanford, Grand Forks Superintendent of Schools, and asked him if they had a building that we could use for child care. This would get people back to Grand Forks either to work at their jobs or to work on their homes. Two hours before our Board meeting, I received a call - we could use the Head Start building. Wonderful!!!

Thursday, May 1st, five Board members showed up for the Board meeting. It was so good to see everybody. We decided decisions had to be made even though we did not have a quorum. I asked them two questions. The school offered us the Head Start building for a temporary location, should we take it and when should we start? They said "YES" and to start as soon as we could get ready. Second question, could the staff be paid for the days we were closed? Answer, "YES". Good news - a real morale booster.

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United Lutheran Church in the flood
Drawing by Jana (UDN)
The Spectrum classroom in the flood
Drawing by Lolly (UDN)

This page maintained by Alan Draves.