The flood was a slow-motion disaster, the underpinning of which was a series of blizzards during the previous winter. When the snow melted, the southern end of the Red River flooded. Rain followed, then a freeze. It took almost two weeks for the disaster to reach its zenith in Grand Forks, N.D. By then, the skies were clear, the temperatures warm, and the disaster immense.
On April 19, 1997, fire broke out in downtown Grand Forks. Even with the city flooded, there was no water available to fight the fire. (Video from Grand Forks Fire Department)
Members of the Grand Forks Fire Department patrol downtown by boat. (Video from Grand Forks Fire Department)
Grand Forks' video commemorating the 10th anniversary. (Watch)
MPR's Midmorning revisits Grand Forks on Wednesday, April 18 at 10 a.m. CT, to find out how things have changed.
MPR Great Flood of 1997