Local family survives Heart River flooding

In continuing coverage, although floodwaters are receding on the Heart River, in Mandan. The damage done by the rapid rise in water is still being felt. We spoke with the Johnson family who is dealing with flooding so bad, we couldn’t even get to them. 

A local family is calling themselves survivors after being hit by the Heart River flood. All they can do now is recover after losing livestock and having fences and feed destroyed by incoming water. 

The Heart River flood hit many families by surprise, one is the Johnson family. 

“We didn’t know what to do. We never had it where the river turned around and became a current through our front yard. Boom, this rapid tidal wave came right at us and we had four feet of water within 20 minutes,” said Scott Johnson, Morton County resident.  

They live north of the Heart River, just southeast of Mandan, and it’s a place they’ve called home for 13 years. After experiencing the wrath of the 2011 flood, they say this is the 2nd worst. 

“As far as damage, that is kind of tough because there is a lot of damage when you have a flood, but you know miles of fencing. Also, Ruby lost some of her sheep for her 4H project,” said Johnson.

The Johnson family has been stranded for two days. Now, they are waiting until the ice melts. That means they are happy to finally go to school and work. Now they are coping with the lifelong changes.

“It is very scary because you never know when that water is going to stop. It kept coming, and coming, and coming,” said Johnson 

Although they lost a lot, its a situation they say they’ve learned from.

“It can all be replaced. that is not a big deal. But you have to understand the value of family and bonding,” said Johnson. 

According to the National Weather Service, flood levels are predicted to rise slightly. But that can change with a quick snow melt or ice jams at any time. 

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