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A new ND home in Dickinson for displaced Minot resident

Press Photo by Sean M. Soehren Minot evacuee Lois Hawbaker, 83, discusses flooding conditions with her daughter Chris Heitz, left, at Heitz's home in Dickinson on Friday afternoon. Hawbaker has evacuated from Minot twice this year and will be staying with her daughter and family indefinitely.

"I can't see how it can ever be livable again," Minot flood survivor Lois Hawbaker said of her house.

Hawbaker, 83, had lived in Minot since 1983, but now, as the waters rise, her once-humble trailer home has been taken by a flood which is overtaking the North Dakota town. She now calls her daughter's Dickinson abode her home.

Her daughter, Chris Heitz, helped pack Tuesday and Hawbaker came home with her Wednesday.

"We had only 10 boxes," Heitz said. "We were using everything -- deli bags, garbage bags, duffel bags -- trying to get her things out."

Hawbaker was forced to evacuate two times from her home by the river. She returned from her first evacuation June 13 and in one week she was told she had to leave again.

"The news just kept getting worse," Heitz said Friday. "It was really hard to wrap your mind around it, to see how serious it really was."

Hawbaker uses a walker and said she only had a suitcase the first time she evacuated. "I waded out of the house in water up to my knees."

The second time, though, Hawbaker was able to get most of her things out with the help of her loving family and a good crew of friends.

"I am so lucky I have five good kids who've helped me so much, my friends as well," Hawbaker said.

Hawbaker suffers from nightmares of the flood, and misses her home.

One of the things Hawbaker was saddened to leave behind is a tree planted in memory of her deceased husband. However, even in these troubled times Hawbaker is just glad they got out and saved as much as they did.

Hawbaker was able to take refuge with her daughter in Dickinson and Heitz assures that her stay is indefinite. "She doesn't have to worry about where to go. She is able to live independently and we have room here for her."

The family has been very supportive and all are offering a place for Hawbaker to stay.

Heitz is happy to have her mother safe and dry and said, "She's a survivor and she'll make it."