Midcontinent Communications, the cable provider for the currently flooded areas of North Dakota, is working on assessing the damage to their systems. But with record levels of water flow from all Missouri River dams, Tom Simmons, SVP of Public Policy for Midcontinent, estimated the flow will continue at high levels until mid-July. And a true assessment of damages probably won’t be possible until late July or the beginning of August. “Obviously, we won’t ask people to pay for services they can’t receive,” said Simmons. “Our employees are working hard to help. A lot of people have been displaced, so our natural concern is to protect them. People are going to need assistance. I’m sure there will be fundraising; we’ll be supporting that effort now until the end of the year.”
What came as a surprise, said Simmons, was the major flooding this past weekend of the Souris River in Minot, North Dakota. At this writing, Reuters reported approximately 12,000 people in the town have been displaced by the flooding. Bismarck and Mandan were hit first, and Pierre and Fort Pierre have been tremendously affected as well, Simmons said.
About a dozen Midcontinent employees in Minot have had to evacuate their homes, and several other residences will have substantial damage, said Simmons. “Most of the displaced are not allowed to check damage until the water subsides. They are currently living with friends and relatives and reporting to work to help others. That makes them heroes in my eyes.”