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MSU Athletic Department pitches in

Members of the Minot State University Athletic Department pitched in to help fellow evacuated staff members during a house-gutting blitz in late July.

The department has seven coaches or staff members who lost all or part of their houses during the devastating flooding of the Souris River in July. Many of those displaced coaches have just now been allowed back into their homes to begin the long process of cleaning up. MSU also identified special needs from its Beaver Booster community and assisted those families as well.

"It was really important for our staff to step up and help fellow staff members during this time of need," said MSU Athletic Director Rick Hedberg. "It is an extremely stressful time for our staff, campus and community and we just hoped we could help alleviate some of that by helping in the cleanup. There is a lot of work that needs to be done."

About 20 staff members met in the early morning hours on Thursday and Friday, July 21 and 22, and finished gutting a total of five houses. A smaller group assembled on Monday, July 25 to complete a sixth house. The group spent most of the time pulling out sheetrock as well as flooring, ceilings and siding. Flood waters inundated the houses well above the main floor with some rising all the way to the building’s roof.

In most cases, all material was removed in the basement and main floor of the houses, leaving the exposed studs. From there, residents can clean the frame of the house, allow the entire building to dry and then rebuild around the old frame.

"It is extremely tough work to remove some of the material in these houses. I can’t imagine trying to do it alone," Hedberg said. "Hopefully we have been able to take a load off their shoulders."

The Minot State Athletic Department has identified several other houses to help in the cleanup and is continuing to work towards completing those projects.