911 Flood Calls Database

remains of a burned out building in flood waters

Flood image courtesy of Eric Hylden, Grand Forks Herald

In April 1997, the Red River crested at over 54 feet, and the city dikes of Grand Forks failed. The result was a massive flood, affecting almost the entire city.

In 2007, the Grand Forks Public Safety Answering Point donated recordings of the 911 calls placed during the flood to the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections. The result is this collection of over 2,000 phone calls placed between on April 18th and 19th of 1997.

These calls document the lived experience of the residents of Grand Forks on one of the worst few days of their lives. As a result, some contain profanity, and accounts of distressing situations.