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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Red River recovery

Life is inching toward normal after the flood of '97

A noisy, colorful summer parade of children from United Day Nursery, Grand Forks, N.D., marked more than seasonal fun.

It celebrated the school's return to its home at United Lutheran Church after more than a year in temporary quarters.

"It really gave us a lift, and we needed that," said Suzie Thorson, the school's director.

Like thousands of families and organizations in the Upper Midwest, the preschool lost just about everything when the Red River flooded the Dakotas and Minnesota in April 1997. The flood destroyed thousands of homes and businesses and caused losses in the billions.

The children's return to renovated space in United's basement was just one of an increasing number of signs that life is inching toward normalcy in the Red River Valley — even though there's much work still to do and water woes continue in nearby Devils Lake, N.D.


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